Fort Ross-Seaview AVA starts the redefinition of the true Sonoma Coast, yet took some time to finally arrive. With its distance from the Pacific, about 4 to 5 miles wide, taking in the first two coastal ridges and west-facing slope of the third ridge line set back from the ocean itself. Elevation has a critical role with boundary lines above 920 feet bringing the summer fog line into play with areas above and below. The upper elevations, above 600 feet, can experience significantly greater summer heat. Nighttime temperatures fall off rapidly and provide significant diurnal effects.
Local flora found in this often dense forested area can be found to impact flavors much like found in portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The future is yet to be found but as more wineries explore the potential a true picture of the real Sonoma coast will be found. Without a doubt Pinot Noir plays big in the plans of each vintner.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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is the Regional Correspondent for Fort Ross Seaview.