View popular grape types:
View top wine regions and districts:
California is the largest wine-producing state, accounting for 90% of all wine made in the U.S. And, an astonishing 75% of all wine grapes are produced in an area called the Central Valley.
American Viticultural Areas are grape-growing regions defined by a geographic boundary. As of 2008 there almost 200 AVA’s in the United States with over one-hundred alone in California. These areas are legislated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury.
There are several large regionally-named AVA’s in California within which there are many smaller AVA’s. The regional AVA’s are: Central Coast (including 28 individual AVA’s such as Arroyo Seco, Edna Valley, Paso Robles, and Santa Lucia Highlands to name a few), Klamath Mountains (3 AVA’s), Sierra Foothills (6 AVA’s), South Coast (10 AVA’s) and the largest regional AVA, North Coast. The North Coast AVA encompasses a six-county area that has 49 individual AVA’s including some of the most well-known in California and perhaps the World, such as Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Russian River Valley AVA’s. The Central Valley has more than a dozen AVA’s within it, however it is not named as one of the regional AVA’s. Much of the wine produced there is inexpensive bulk wine.
The many diverse micro-climates within these California AVA’s are home to many grape varietals. However, the most planted grapes varietals are ones most people would be familiar with: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.