My April column at California Winery Advisor is dedicated to unexpected varietals in California Vineyards. I’ve featured Clenenden Family Vineyards – Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria, Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz and Markus Wine Co. (a subventure of Borra Vineyards) in Lodi.
California is a state rich in vineyard microclimates and terroir. With over 800 miles of coastline, parts of the state receive the cooling impact of the Pacific Ocean. Inland valleys and hills find the sun’s warmth sticks around a bit longer, protected by the landscape. The generosity of the land is matched only the by variety and creativity of the local winemakers, some of which have discovered that their California vineyard is the perfect spot to grow less-likely varietals. The outcome is excellent for the wine-drinker, an unexpected range of delightful bottles that express both terroir and winemaking style.