The South Coast AVA is southern California’s alternative to the marketing appeal of the Golden State’s other mega coastal appellations. The AVA includes all of Orange County and western portions of Riverside and San Diego counties, where coastal influences moderate the warmth of the southern California sun. There are more than 3,000 acres under vine in the appellation, much within the borders of the appellation’s sub-regions, the Temecula and San Pasqual Valley AVAs. Traditionally, Chardonnay dominated the acreage, but the area’s recent battle with Pierce’s disease has forced local wineries and vineyards to focus on more pest-resistant varietals. This is fostering an exciting new age of hardy Rhone, Italian and Iberian grape production.
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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Madame Merlot, you’re a big gal, soft and smoky; how we love your full, curvaceous figure. But you are