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California North Coast and Sonoma County with Mark de Vere MW


Mark de Vere MW works for Robert Mondavi winery as a director of the training and education team at the Constellation Academy of Wine. This interview focuses on Sonoma County with an overview of California, described as a complex and diverse wine growing area with many different climates, soil types and grape varieties. The main geographic influence is the Pacific Ocean and the reason why most of the USA’s wine comes from west coast - California accounts for about 93% of total wine production. North of LA is Santa Barbara, where the climate becomes much cooler than in the south and the wine regions begin. The big division in California is between the coastal regions (more premium wines) and the inland valley regions which run parallel to the coast. The valleys form a barrier against the cold air so there is a huge difference in climate. Sonoma County itself is made up of a number of small sub-regions or AVAs (American Viticultural Area) . The climate goes from cool in Sonoma Coast through to Russian River Valley then inland to Sonoma Valley and Alexander Valley, where the warmer climate is perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape they are famous for.

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