This historic cattle-country part of southern Monterey County was first planted with vineyards in 1970. A relatively hot area, with 8,000 acres under vine, San Lucas has proven versatile for producing "beefy" varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and "grassy" Sauvignon Blanc. The San Lucas AVA is positioned at the southern end of Monterey’s Salinas Valley, bordered on the west by the foothills of the Santa Lucia Range and eastward by the Chalone Hills. It is less affected by the ocean winds and fog that moderate Monterey’s other AVAs. Vineyards between 500-1,200 feet benefit from one of California’s largest diurnal temperature swings. Currently, a large piece of the northern section is positioned to become part of a new AVA under petition. Delicato Vineyards is applying for appellation status for its San Bernabe vineyard, the largest continuous vineyard in the world.
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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