California is America’s no. 1 wine producer, according to the Wine Institute that is committed to advocacies and policies related to California wines and businesses. Per the group’s research, California-based bonded wineries represented 40% of the overall 11,496 wineries in the U.S.
Global sales factored into, California put out 278 million wine shipments in the U.S. and worldwide in 2017. This easily puts the state as the fourth largest wine producer in the world.
With these glowing numbers, visiting California means being in wine heaven where some of the world’s best Cabernets, Merlots, and Sauvignons wait to be tested by travelers from all over.
Best Wineries by the Region
For a state that boasts thousands of wineries, picking at random is a tall order. We are talking about 100+ designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in California’s 58 counties.
Against this backdrop, the rule of thumb is to explore, plan, and organize wine visits and tours by the region. It’s practical this way and you get to cover the acres that matter, not to mention the side trips to museums, local shops and more.
California’s climate promises that each region is going to offer something new and exotic for visitors like you.
Head to the North
Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Marin, Solano, Lake County. The North Coast is where the wine-making business started that has made California the wine capital it is known for. As the state’s wine mecca, the region is home to at least 800 wineries and 40+ AVAs.
The region’s perfectly mild climate cultivates some of the best varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir – in the world. A visit to the region is not complete without heading to California’s most famous wine spot, the Napa Valley where the best wines go with the sweeping landscapes.
Find Your Center
Moving onto San Francisco (south), Santa Barbara, Ventura, Santa Cruz, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and we have the Central Coast.
While the North Coast is famous for its traditionally full-bodied tastes, the Central Coast’s cool climate produces distinctive, if not intense and controversial, take on their Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, and of course the world-famous Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara.
At the heart of California is the Central Valley that is home to a diverse range of agricultural produce supplied throughout the United States. Its fertile soils expectedly grow grapes, particularly table grapes that make it one of the fastest wine-growing regions.
Lodi that sits close to Sacramento, the capital of Central Valley, is most notable for its big, bold red variety of Zinfandels.
The South Coast refers to the stretch encompassing Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Orange, collectively Southern California.
Wines in the South Coast taste like the warm weather and cool ocean breeze from the Pacific combined. San Diego exemplifies this Mediterranean climate with its Petite Sirahs, Tempranillos, and Syrahs. Temecula Valley and Escondido are not to be left behind as their top wines include but are not limited to Chardonnays and Grenaches.
Focusing on a region thus streamlines the process of visiting wineries – remember there’s a handful to choose per county per region like Speckle Rock Vineyards located in Escondido in San Diego County. Call us today to book your next wine tasting event!
Speckle Rock Vineyards is located in beautiful Escondido, California and we’re happy to serve the following cities and counties and their surrounding areas in Southern California: Vista, Valley Center, San Marcos, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Ramona, Mesa Grande, Poway, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Temecula