Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  Foppiano Vineyards.

California Wine Regions

by Eve Andersson

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Napa Valley Napa Valley
(116 photos)

Flowerpot art.  DeLoach Vineyards. Sonoma County
(71 photos)

Calcareous soil typical of Western Paso Robles. Paso Robles
(54 photos)

San Juan Bautista Mission. San Benito Valley
(29 photos)

Vineyard patch among dry hills. Les Chenes Estate Vineyards. Livermore Valley
(93 photos)

Winery exterior.  Gainey Vineyard. Santa Barbara County
(69 photos)

Tree-lined road.  Santa Cruz Mountains. Santa Cruz Mountains
(15 photos)

Tasting room.  Heller Estate. Monterey
(14 photos)

Deck and picnic area.  Navarro Vineyards. Mendocino County
(10 photos)
California has many distinct, lovely, and interesting wine regions. Napa Valley may be the most famous, but each region has its strengths and its charms. Here are a few that I've visited, enjoyed the wines of, and photographed.

The main similarity among these regions is that they produce wonderful wines. Beyond that, their differences outnumber their commonalities. Take Napa Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains for example. In Napa, you'll find Michelin Stars; in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you'll find general stores. In Napa, wine estates are graced with glamorous châteaux; in the Mountains, cabins peek out from behind thick greenery. The wines of Napa are often fuller and earthier than the fruit forward creations from the Mountains. In Napa, wineries line the broad, straight streets, one after the next; the Santa Cruz Mountain roads are, well, mountainous, with towering trees obscuring the light and hairpin turns making the long journey between vineyards more interesting.

May you enjoy your photographic wine journey through these pages, hopefully with a well-balanced, California Meritage in hand. Cheers!

Eve Andersson (
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