CHRISTINE CAMPBELL Christine Campbell is a Vancouver-based freelance and travel writer, educator and host of the Wine Soundtrack Canada podcast. She is WSET Certified, is a French Wine Scholar and holds her Master of Champagne certification. Follow Christine’s adventures in wine and abroad at girlsgogrape.com.

California boasts incredible diversity that allows winemakers to craft an impressive range of world-leading wines.

C alifornia is home to some of the world’s most renowned wine regions. The US Golden State is responsible for more than 80 percent of the volume of American wine made yearly and is the world’s fourth-largest wine- producing region. California is divided into 147 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), highlighting an immense range of terroir within the state. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon reign supreme among the 100 different varieties grown in California. From the rolling hills of Napa Valley to the rugged coastline of Sonoma County, from the cowboy town of Paso Robles to the quaint charm of Lodi, California boasts incredible diversity that allows winemakers to craft an impressive range of world-leading wines. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of wine, California has something to offer. So, pour yourself a glass, and let’s explore the rich tapestry of California wine regions you can find at your local BCLIQUOR store. Napa Valley Napa Valley is the best-known of all California wine regions. The gateway to Napa Valley is in northern California, just a 90-minute drive north of San Francisco International Airport. The area is home to world-renowned wineries and breathtaking landscapes. California’s

first AVA, Napa Valley contains 16 smaller individual AVAs (sometimes described as sub-appellations). During the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 (now known as the Judgement of Paris), internationally unknown Napa Valley wines competed against famous French wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux in a blind tasting. When Napa wines won first place in both the red and white wine categories, the wine world was shocked. Napa had secured its position as a premier wine- producing region. Napa is synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives in the temperate Mediterranean climate. Other popular varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Napa Valley is also gaining recognition for producing quality sparkling wines. Sonoma County Approximately 25 km west of Napa Valley, Sonoma County is home to some of the best wineries in the world. With a milder climate than Napa, cooler nights and more fertile soil, the region produces a wide variety of cooler-climate wines. The Pacific Ocean and the Russian River moderate Sonoma’s climate, providing excellent acid retention in the fruit. Notable AVAs of Sonoma County are Chalk Hill, Alexander Valley, Los Carneros (which straddles both Napa Valley and Sonoma County) and the Russian River Valley. Crisp and refreshing

Chardonnay is Sonoma’s flagship grape, followed closely by Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Artfully made rosés and sparkling wines are increasingly winning with wine enthusiasts. Paso Robles Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso Robles represents small‑town charm through world-class wine. The landscape boasts beautiful oak trees throughout the region. Is it any wonder that Paso Robles translates from Spanish as “the pass of the oaks”? Many wineries are small and family-owned, places where owners happily share their knowledge and passion for winemaking. Although Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the most-planted grape varieties in the area, it is the birthplace of the Rhone Rangers, growers and winemakers with a passion for varieties from the Rhône Valley in France. They focus their attention on Syrah, Grenache, Viognier and Mourvèdre. Lodi Lodi is a quaint inland northern California town with a rich history and vibrant culture. It is known for its picturesque vineyards and wineries, which attract wine enthusiasts from around the world. Lodi is nestled between San Francisco



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