Straddling the borders of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys on the north coast of San Pablo Bay is the appellation known as Los Carneros – The Rams. Cool and wind-whipped, the AVA has thin soils and little rainfall. During the day, as the sun heats up the vineyards and mountainsides of Napa Valley to the north, the rising hot air draws cool air and fog from San Pablo Bay. The intrusion of fog over Carneros in the early afternoon moderates the vineyard temperatures, providing just the right conditions for growing cool-climate varietals with crisp acidity and moderate sugar levels. Not surprisingly, this challenging microclime attracted vignerons on a Pinot Noir quest. Carneros’ Pinots are praised for their crisp, tight structure, with spicy berry flavors. The region is also known for its Chardonnays and 'Methode Champenoise' sparklers. The former are typically crisp and lively, with lemon and pineapple. With over 1,000 acres of vines overlapping the two well-known valley appellations of Napa and Sonoma, most vintners now prefer to identify their wines with Los Carneros AVA on the label.The marketability of this appellation rests on a truly distinctive terroir.
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