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California Red Wine

Learn about California red wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...

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California is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.

While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.

The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.

This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!

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  • Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Gustaf Cabernet Franc 2016  Front Label
    Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Gustaf Cabernet Franc 2016
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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  • Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc 2020  Front Label
    Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc 2020
    Cabernet Franc from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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  • Camp Cabernet Franc 2019 Front Label
    Camp Cabernet Franc 2019
    Cabernet Franc from Sonoma County, California
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    • Vinum Cellars The Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2017  Front Label
      Vinum Cellars The Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2017
      Cabernet Franc from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
      • JS92
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    • Camp Cabernet Franc 2017  Front Label
      Camp Cabernet Franc 2017
      Cabernet Franc from Sonoma County, California
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      • Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc 2016  Front Label
        Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc 2016
        Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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        • RP92
        • WS90
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