California is home to a wonderful variety of wines, nearly one for every taste. Soil and weather play a major role in the characteristics of the grapes, and the resulting wine. The Wine Institute has divided California into 107 American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs. The Livermore Valley is one these 107 AVAs, and now has been further sub-divided into a dozen districts that capture the unique elements of each area. Let’s explore them!
The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, with the support of a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, commissioned a soils and climate report to better understand the wide diversity of the Livermore Valley AVA. Based on this analysis, twelve districts were carved out that show distinctive characteristics.
The twelve districts are named: Altamont, Amador Valley, Crane Ridge, Mendenhall Springs, Mt. Diablo Highlands, Palomares, Ruby Hill, San Ramon Valley, Sunol, Tesla, Valle de Oro, and Vallecitos. Each presents a unique combination of soil, sunshine, rainfall, fog coverage, and topography. Some areas run warmer, some get more rain, and some areas are more sloping than others. The soil and climate report identified “birds of a feather” wine growing districts that shared these attributes. These attributes combine, naturally, to produce grapes with distinctive characteristics that Livermore Valley winemakers can transform into the wine of their dreams.
The complete report is available on the lvwine.org web site. There is a lot to absorb, so best results can be obtained by perusing this report with a nice glass of Livermore wine in one hand. After all, isn’t that what the Livermore Valley AVA is all about?
Cheers to the the Livermore Valley and the dozen districts it contains!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?