Do No Good Wines Come from the Valley?

For good wines from the valley, check out Bokish. Spanish varieties as well as a fantastic 2013 Kirschenmann Zin. Their 2013 Garnacha is excellent as well. I went deep on both.

Larry, while I may agree with your examples, the OP-cited article managed to exclude Lodi from the Central Valley.

Absolutely - Markus Bokisch is the man.

I haven’t had them in years but the Macchia red wines were pretty awesome back when I used to bottle at the winery where they had their tasting room. Ebullient styles but really expressive and complex. I loved the Linsteadt Vineyard Zin…white pepper and raspberry I can still smell.

Thanks for correcting my spelling Cameron; I thought I had double-checked it. Posting before 1st cup of coffee…

Lodiis a city located in San Joaquin County, California, in the northern portion of California’s Central Valley.

Larry, please tell me that you know that I know that. The author of the blog article in question selectively excluded the fact that you are stressing.

Gosh, where do you draw the line for “Central Valley”? I would put Lodi and Livermore in there for sure.

In my mind, the Salinas Valley / Santa Lucia Highlands area along the 101 might even get lumped in Central Valley over Santa Cruz / Greater Central Coast.

Wow, I can only assume that you have no idea of California geography. Livermore is in no way part of the Central Valley, separated by a whole range of mountains. And Salinas / SLH are about as far away from the Central Valley as you can get both in terms of geography and climate.

CA native here. I guess I just have a broader sense of what the Central Valley is, esp from a non-AVA standpoint.

Well, Livermore can be hot, no doubt about that. But I have a hard time imagining anyone familiar with California considering the cool Salinas Valley / Santa Lucia Highlands as Central Valley, whether from an AVA standpoint or not - they could not be more different in all respects.

The lines around the San Joaquin Valley are drawn as mountain ranges. It’s a significant distinction, not only because of soil, but because each range diminishes the cool marine influence. By your definition, Napa and Paso would be “Central Valley” as well. And some sections of Sonoma Coast too.

Amador and CoCo are closer, and Livermore has something in common, but Livermore is closer in soil and climate to Napa than it is to Lodi. But, if you’re going to broaden your distinction that much, why not just consider all of California as a homogeneous whole?

Fair enough. I’ve been to the Salinas area twice and it was really warm both times, so I assumed the coastal influence was minimal.

Maybe I should get out of the car more often on my drives up the state :slight_smile:

And guys, I’m not trying to create a new AVA here, or defend the article written by the blogger. All I was trying to say is that the Central Valley is hard to define, and the blogger was making sweeping generalizations. My bad for not knowing each and every microclimate in the state - moving on.

Definitely Lodi is very different and climate and soil from some of the mega-sized vineyards you see farther south in the valley. It’s like a half-cross between Contra Costa and Amador, with the soil coming down from Amador and the climate blowing in the Sacramento River delta.

My problem with the author’s excluding Lodi to make a point about the central valley, as a wine writer, assuming his readers are somewhat wine-savvy, Lodi is pretty much all that matters in the Central Valley. It would be like excluding California, Oregon, and Washington to make the case that no American wines are worth drinking.

Salinas Valley is definitely a cool area compared with most California winegrape-growing regions. Coastal influence is major there - as with areas such as Santa Maria Valley and some other parts of Santa Barbara County, it’s directly exposed to the cool marine air, in this case coming in from the Salinas area. It’s classified as climate region I / II where the Central Valley is region IV / V. There’s a reason that highly-regarded Pinot Noir is grown in SLH and not in Fresno! :wink:

As Larry pointed out, the Central Valley is not hard to define at all. It’s bordered by significant mountains on all sides other than at the Sacramento / San Joaquin river delta. Not the clearest map below but it shows the limits of the Central Valley with respect to other major California winegrape-growing regions (SLH is Central Coast, and separated from the Central Valley by two mountain ranges) reasonably well. And note that it does show an overlap with the lower part of the Sierra Foothills, something discussed earlier in this thread - that may be the only part of the Central Valley where you could argue that a particular vineyard site has more in common with the adjacent region. Lodi is certainly part of the Central Valley, but I understand the distinction there, as it (like Clarksburg and some other parts of Yolo County) gets a cooling influence from the Delta and San Francisco Bay that other parts of the Central Valley do not.

Sometime in the very near future, the coast of California will become the San Angelos Islands and parts of Central Valley will be beach front property.

If you San Franciscans see a blimp with ZORN INDUSTRIES on the side of it, go northeast to Nevada and Utah as fast as you can.

Livermore is at 500’ elevation. We’ll be high and dry long after Lodi, Napa, and Sonoma are underwater.


I suppose that the Mendocino Highlands will really be Islands in the Sky© then!