Culture: Don't Be Afraid of Napa and Sonoma's 'Smoke Vintage' | Wine Enthusiast
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About Napa-Sonoma

The Napa-Sonoma Wine Region is home to the majority of the top rated wines in all of California according to our Napa-Sonoma Wine Reviews. Napa Valley is located in the North Coast American Viticultural Area of California and accounts for about 5% of the state’s vineyard acreage. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and are the favored grapes in the region, known for creating big and fruit forward wines with the best bottlings capable of aging. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc are also grown in the area, and when produced in the proper sub-appellation are capable of creating excellent wines. In fact, our Napa-Sonoma Wine Guide illustrates that the Carneros subregion in southern Napa is home to some of the most highly regarded Pinots and Chardonnays in the state. Another sub-appellation producing highly regarded Pinot and Chardonnay is the Russian River Valley located within the Sonoma Region. These wines have experienced increased popularity, as can be explored in our Napa-Sonoma Wine Ratings. Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, which is often championed as an American style, produces rich and ripe wines with jammy berry characteristics and often gain complexity when aged in barrel. Another notable wine style is the Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley in Sonoma, which tends to be more elegant and herbaceous than its Napa Valley counterpart. For a complete list of rated wines from the area, be sure to check out our Napa-Sonoma Buying Guide.

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