Framed by the Sonoma Mountains to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east, Valley of the Moon is the romantic cradle of Northern California’s wine industry. Here, at Mission San Francisco de Solano, the Franciscan monks planted their last and most northerly vineyard in 1823. In 1857 another kind of "father" - Count Agoston Haraszthy, dubbed "father of the California wine industry" - established Buena Vista Winery, launching the commercial wine industry in Northern California. Sonoma's rich history follows its unique terroirs. The Sonoma Mountains reduce the Pacific's cool, wet influence on the Valley of the Moon. In the lee of this range, Sonoma Valley’s annual rainfall is lower than in less sheltered areas. Still, cool air does penetrate from the south, off San Pablo Bay at Carneros, and from the north, through a gap into the Santa Rosa Plain. Though the valley itself is compact, a range of growing conditions and soil types exist from south to north and from valley floor to mountainsides. Subsequent sub-AVA approvals reflect some of these more specific viticultural areas and their distinctive terroirs.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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Zinfandel...You’re a master of disguise. Who is that masked man known as ZIN? You hide behind a mask