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March 1, 2012

Carneros Appellation

Carneros_VintnersThe Carneros-SonomaAppellation is situated at the southern end of both Sonoma and Napa Counties and encompasses portions of both.  Known for it’s summer fog, warm days and a long growing season that is helped by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean.   The Carneros wine region is an independent American Viticultural Area (AVA).  This area influenced by the marine environment of San Pablo Bay, which runs along its southern edge, is generally cooler in summer and warmer in winter than other nearby wine regions. This consistent weather, allows the wines from this area avoid large spikes in differences between vintages.

Carneros became an official AVA in 1983, its unique characteristics based on climate and on its geographic features – the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Mountain Ranges and the San Francisco Bay – that affect the region’s terroir and put a distinctive stamp on its grapes.   Some people think of this area as a “sub” Appellation, however it sits in the middle of Sonoma and Napa.

The massive rolling vineyards are planted in rich, though shallow, bay-influenced soils and grow right up to the edges of the bay wetlands. The refreshing environment of Carneros-Sonoma is perfect for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and, increasingly, Merlot and Syrah.

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is one of the best known Wines from this area. They recently won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.  Gloria Ferrer’s Executive Winemaker is Bob Iantosca. As a masterful winemaker, Bob is devoted to capturing the distinctive Carneros terroir in wines, and does this uniquely by handcrafting the wine to pair perfectly with food. Bob joined Gloria Ferrer’s Sonoma Carneros vineyards in 1984. Over the years, he has created more award-winning California sparkling wines than any other single winemaker.

Bob Iantosca has collaborated on the cultivation of the estate vineyards from 20 to 335 acres, experimented with some 20 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir selections and led the winery to expand its repertoire to include intensely flavorful cool-climate estate varietal wines.

If you want to know more about the Vineyards in Carneros, Sonoma and Napa, please call me!

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