Los Carneros Wine Region
The Los Carneros region is a beautiful section of the southern Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley areas. Known officially as an AVA, or an American Viticultural Area, this region is home to seemingly countless vineyards and wineries. The area’s name comes from the sheep that were known to roam along its rolling hills – carneros means sheep in Spanish – decades ago when the area was still known for farms as much as it was for the vineyards that now make it internationally recognized.
The area’s arid soil and temperate Mediterranean climate make it perfect for growing the grapes that have now made it so famous like Pinot and chardonnay. The climate has often been said to resemble the Italian peninsula’s, with short and temperate winters and long, warm summers with little rain and lots of sunshine, the Los Carneros region cultivates what is truly the most perfect atmosphere for the grapes to grow. Also, because they are never exposed to the extremes of either temperature, the grapes from this area are known as some of the most hearty and delicious ones in the world. Additionally, compared to the hotter regions of the farther-north Sonoma and Napa counties, Los Carneros tends to be much cooler due to its proximity to the famed fog of the north coast. But this temperate climate is also good for visitors, however, as the warm and sunny climate allows for almost year-round outdoor excursions like bike riding, hiking, and just exploring the beautiful hills and valleys of the Los Carneros region.
The Los Carneros region itself is technically a viticultural name for the grape-growing area that encompasses the southern portions of the famed Sonoma and Napa valleys. In order to easily categorize and standardize the locations within the United States that produce wine, terms like these are given to geographical areas in order to make sure your favorite wines’ grapes are authentically claiming to be from a certain area. Therefore, every time a wine’s label claims its grapes were grown in California’s own Los Carneros region, you know that at least 85 percent of the grapes in that bottle were grown within this beautiful region’s boundaries.
These areas are most frequently referred to by the names of the valleys, who are famous in and of themselves for the incredible grapes they produce. But in addition to being incredible destinations for the wine-lover, the avid vacationer will find much history, culture, and surely many activities that will make them fall in love with the incredible diversity of the Los Carneros Region.
Sonoma itself has a rich historical tradition as part of early California’s development from its original Native American inhabitants to a full member of the United States of America. The entire state of California was once occupied almost solely by Native Americans. Sonoma, because of its temperate weather and location close to both rivers and fertile land, was the bustling center of a Native American village. But soon Catholic monks from Mexico began exploring California and converting the native peoples to Christianity, setting up a series of 21 missions that run up the coast of California, the farthest north of which is the one located in Sonoma’s modern town square. Soon after this, the mission was secularized under Spanish colonial rule, as barracks – which still exist today adjacent to the Sonoma mission structure – were built and the government moved in. But Sonoma was also the center of an even more important event, one that changed the landscape of the United States forever. It was in the Los Carneros Region’s Sonoma Valley town square that the Bear Flag Revolt officially ended, accomplishing its mission of claiming California’s statehood and freedom from Spanish colonial rule.
But the historical value of the area is but one aspect of what makes the Los Carneros region an incredible destination for your next vacation. Los Carneros’ beautiful landscapes and wineries make this a thoroughly enjoyable destination for nature-lovers and wine-lovers alike. Due to its temperate climate and northern California’s signature beautiful rolling hills, spending time outside soaking in your surroundings should surely not be missed. From grand oak trees to hills covered in majestic grape vines, the Los Carneros region is an aesthetic delight.