The long and narrow Central Coast wine region of California stretches for approximately two hundred and fifty miles down the Pacific coastline, and holds hundreds of important Californian wineries who grow a wide array of imported grape varietals. As with the rest of California, the Central Coast region benefits enormously from the hot and sunny climate, which allows the grapes grown there to reach full ripeness and express plenty of big, juicy flavors and rich aromas. Dozens of grapes varietals are grown successfully on the Central Coast, however, classic French varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The region is renowned for its modern and experimental approach to viticulture, and with over 90,000 acres under vine, this is a veritable powerhouse of wine production in one of the most important New World regions on earth.
Whether you believe that Zinfandel traces its origins to the Italian Primitivo or the Croatian Plavac Mali, we can still consider this America's own. With rare exceptions, the U.S. is the only growing region in the world to explore its "noble" potential. It is grown through California as one of the most widely planted varietals, and can be "white", red, rose, fortified, late harvest or even sparkling. Even as a dry red table wine, it is made in a myriad of styles and varies greatly as the growing conditions and climate changes from region to region. It is generally full-bodied and potent, with a burly, brambly quality, and can provide a veritable fruit basket of raspberries, blackberries, dark cherries and plums. It can be made claret-like and intensely powerful and structured, with high alcohol, or more refined and elegant. It always maintains a modicum of acidity, making it wonderfully adaptable to food. The finest Zinfandel appellations include the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Howell Mountain, Alexander Valley, Amador County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles and the Central Coast.