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At a glance…

Influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean and a combination of summer fog, warm days, and a long growing season, the Carneros wine region is an independent American Viticultural Area (AVA). 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.

A small number of Wineries in Napa Valley did more to change the wine industry in the last 100 years than virtually any other production area.  Within weeks of the 1976 wine tasting in Paris, Napa Valley Wines became highly sought after.  Sonoma County followed suit and soon after California became known the world over as a spectacular wine region, which opened the door for Australia, South Africa and South America but it began with the Napa Valley Wineries.  Each had a rich wine history but much like California ten years before, was usually only known locally.

There are more than 500 Napa Wineries and Vineyards so trying to learn about all of the Napa Valley Wines in one trip is impossible.  A number of them have broken into smaller Associations to promote the micro-regional characteristics wines.  By exploring them, a wine enthusiast will get a true cross section of the Wineries in Napa Valley.

Note that Carneros actually spans portions of both Southern Napa and Sonoma Counties.

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