One of the five winegrowing regions in California with around 25,000 hectares of vineyards. It forms a 560 km long strip on the coast of the Pacific Ocean from the north south of San Francisco Bay to Los Angeles deep in the south. The region is primarily known for agriculture and tourism. The Salinas Valley is considered one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the United States, Here will be next vines also grown many vegetables and fruits such as lettuce, strawberries and artichokes.
A special feature are the climatically different conditions of the higher warmer wine-growing areas such as Paso Robles and the lower colder ones like Santa Maria and Monterey. This can be explained by the fact that the cool layer of air from the Pacific forms a layer of haze that remains below the higher areas. The red wine varieties thrive particularly well here Cabernet Sauvignon. Pinot Noir. Syrah and Zinfandel, as well as the dominant white wine variety Chardonnay,
There are two comprehensive AVA areas, Central Coast and San Francisco Bay, for grapes from several counties. The counties with their AVA areas are Alameda County ( Livermore Valley ); Monterey County (Arroyo Seco, Carmel Valley, Chalone, Hames Valley, Monterey, San Bernabe, San Lucas, Santa Lucia Highlands); San Benito County (Cienega Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, Mount Harlan, Paicines, San Benito); San Luis Obispo County (Arroyo Grande Valley, Edna Valley, Paso Robles, York Mountain); Santa Barbara County (Santa Maria Bench, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley); Santa Clara County (Pacheco Pass, Santa Clara Valley, San Ysidro District) and Santa Cruz County (Ben Lomond Mountain, Santa Cruz Mountains).