J. Lohr Wildflower Valdiguie 2002
Alcohol: 12.1% by volume.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
Valdiguié is native to southwest France but also maintains a fairly substantial history in California. Given its high-yielding capacity, Valdiguié became very popular during the Prohibition. Until 1980 Californians called it Napa Gamay because of its similarities to Gamay as a finished wine. But in that year, a French ampelographer, Pierre Galet correctly identified it as Valdiguié and not Gamay. Today it still grows in pockets of respected appellations throughout the state. In France it is also goes by the name of Gros Auxerrois.
Fresh pomegranate, watermelon, blueberry and baking spice are common in Valdiguié. The wine is usually pretty simple but nonetheless totally enjoyable. It’s a great red to serve slightly chilled on a hot day.