California’s Wine Country

Friday, 30 December 2016 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Sonoma Vineyards in Russian River Valley © flickr.com - Simon Davison/cc-by-2.0

Sonoma Vineyards in Russian River Valley © flickr.com – Simon Davison/cc-by-2.0

The Wine Country is an area of Northern California known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region. Viticulture and wine-making have been practiced in the region since the mid-19th century. There are over 400 wineries in the area north of San Francisco, mostly located in the area’s valleys, including Napa Valley in Napa County, and the Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley, and Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Wine grapes are also grown at higher elevations, such as Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder AVAs. The region is defined not only by its viticulture, but also its ecology, geology, architecture, cuisine, and culture. The majority of the grape harvest, by both area and value, derives from Sonoma County.

The earliest prehistory of the Wine Country involves habitation by several Native American tribes from approximately 8000 BC. The principal tribes living in this region included the Pomo, Coast Miwok, Wappo and Patwin, whose early peoples practiced certain forms of agriculture, but probably not involving the cultivation of grapes. During the Mexican Colonial period and after, European settlers brought in more intensive agriculture to the Wine Country, including growing grapes and wine production. Some of the historical events that led to the establishment of California as a state transpired in the Wine Country. In particular, the town of Sonoma, is known as the birthplace of American California. Agoston Haraszthy is credited with being one of the forefathers of the California wine industry in Sonoma by his planting of grapes in the lower Arroyo Seco Creek watershed of Sonoma County.

Sonoma Vineyards in Russian River Valley © flickr.com - Simon Davison/cc-by-2.0 Sonoma Mountain vineyard © Anlace/cc-by-sa-3.0 Sonoma City Hall © Cory Maylett/cc-by-sa-3.0 Napa Valley welcome sign © Stan Shebs/cc-by-sa-3.0 Robert Mondavi winery © flickr.com - Greg Dunham/cc-by-2.0 Pygmy forest along a popular Wine Country hiking trail of Hood Mountain © C.Michael Hogan/cc-by-sa-2.5
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Pygmy forest along a popular Wine Country hiking trail of Hood Mountain © C.Michael Hogan/cc-by-sa-2.5
A number of seasonal festivals attract tourists to the region, including:

The Wine Country has undergone a boom in tourism. In 1975 there were only 25 Napa Valley wineries; today there are well over 400 wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Tourists come to the region not only for wine tasting, but also for hiking, bicycling, hot air ballooning, and historic sites, as well as the extensive culinary choices. Numerous notable chefs and restaurateurs are present in the Wine Country, including Thomas Keller, John Ash, and Sondra Bernstein. Besides the obvious winery attractions, the Wine Country is known for the Sonoma County coastline along the Pacific Ocean, the Russian River valley, redwoods, hot spring baths, petrified forests and other natural areas.

Read more on Wine Country, VisitCalifornia.com – Wine Country, Wikivoyage Wine Country and Wikipedia Wine Country (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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