More than twice the size as neighboring Napa, Sonoma County overflows with wineries and grape varieties. Within this appellation’s one million total acres, over 190 wineries make their home. Practically every variety of grape grown in California can be found somewhere in Sonoma County. Winemaking here is steeped in history, going back to the 1820s, when Franciscan monks first planted vineyards with the Mission variety -- a grape which unfortunately yielded disappointing table wines. The real progress began with Hungarian immigrant, Agoston Haraszthy, today considered the ‘Father of California Wine’. As early as the 1850s Haraszthy had the foresight to recognize the region’s tremendous viticultural potential, founding the original Buena Vista Winery here in 1857. Traveling to Europe in 1861, Haraszthy brought back more than 100,000 grape cuttings of over 300 different varieties from France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Most of these he planted in Sonoma, leaving a mark that is evident in the county’s thriving wine industry today. Diverse in its climate, soils, geography and grapes, the patchwork quilt that is Sonoma County contains AVAs on top of AVAs, and sub-AVAs within them. Today, Sonoma County as a wine region is as varied as any could possibly be, with something for just about everyone. Sonoma County is America's viticultural cornucopia!
While the early days of Napa Valley always mentioned the dust in summer, Rutherford Dust referred to an entirely different context. During a recent tasting in Napa Valley held by the Rutherford Dust Society a wide wide range of Rutherford wines shed new light on the long term meaning.
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Zinfandel...You’re a master of disguise. Who is that masked man known as ZIN? You hide behind a mask