The wine region in the US state California lies between the Central Valley and the Rocky Mountains about 150 kilometers away from the Pacific Ocean. It was the former gold-digger area during the gold rush. In the 19th century, this was the largest Californian wine-growing region until the phylloxera put an end to it. Today, the vineyards cover only 2,300 hectares of vineyards at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 450 to 900 meters above sea level. The most important grape varieties are Barbera. Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay. Merlot. Syrah and by far the most common Zinfandel, It has a Mediterranean climate with mild, mostly wet winter and warm, dry summer. The AVA area spans the six counties (parenthesized sub-AVA's) Amador County (California's Shenandoah Valley, Fiddletown), Calaveras County, El Dorado County (California's Shenandoah Valley, El Dorado, Fair Play), Mariposa County, Nevada County and Yuba County (North Yuba). There are over 100 mostly very small wine farms. The best known are Bear River Winery, Lone Buffalo Winery, Ironstone Vineyard, Le Casque Winery, Sierra Knoll's Vineyard and Winery and Cante Ao Vinho Winery.