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Wines and Wineries of California’s Central Coast

Wines and Wineries of California’s Central Coast: A Complete Guide from Monterey to Santa Barbara

Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Wines and Wineries of California’s Central Coast
    Book Description:

    In comparative tastings, wines from California's Central Coast rival those from such renowned regions as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Napa, yet they also offer superb value. This is the first comprehensive guide to one of the world's most dynamic and beautiful wine regions-and the setting for the award-winning movieSideways.An excellent, one-stop resource for touring and tasting at convenient wineries located from Monterey to Santa Barbara, the guide is organized into county-by-county alphabetical listings for this up-and-coming region.Wines and Wineries of California's Central Coastincludes:* Profiles of nearly 300 wineries personally visited by the author* Profiles of individual vintners* 5 maps* Winery ratings, plus author and winemaker recommendations* Visitors' and contact information for each winery* Discussions of regional wine history and terroir* Descriptions of designated American Viticultural Areas and grape varietals

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93183-1
    Subjects: Environmental Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Maps
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)

    • Introduction
      (pp. 3-6)

      Introductions are important in social life because they serve as openings to conversations. In books, they serve a similar purpose: they initiate the communication between reader and author. That said, I dislike long-winded introductions in person and in print. I do want to share with you a quick overview of the scope of the book, the pleasure I had in writing it, and perhaps a little bit about myself in order to lessen my anonymity. I begin with a question you might have in mind as you read these pages: Why this book?

      When an author gets an idea for...

    • CHAPTER 1 The Lay of the Land
      (pp. 7-9)

      The book is divided into two sections. In the first I provide a general history of the region, designed to be read with a glass of your favorite wine at hand. I briefly describe the early days of the Spanish missionaries who trekked north from Mexico past San Francisco, planting the seeds of Christianity and crops as they established missions along the way. For those of you who enjoy reading about the geology of the place where the grapes are grown, I include a chapter that treats the geological origins of the region, going all the way back to the...

    • CHAPTER 2 Central Coast Wine History
      (pp. 10-16)

      The wine history of California in general, and its Central Coast region specifically, predates the formation of the United States by a few years and California’s entry into statehood by more than eighty years. Neither the French, the Germans, the Italians, the Portuguese, nor even the Spanish explorers who first came to California did so with the intent to grow grapes and produce wine. In time, however, all made significant contributions; but the Russians, unlikely as it seems, played a pivotal, albeit indirect, role at the forefront of California’s long and noble wine history.

      When Russian explorers crossed the Bering...

    • CHAPTER 3 Central Coast Terroir
      (pp. 17-24)

      Galileo once said, “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” In the wine region of the Central Coast you will discover a diversity of terrain, wind, water, soils, climate, fog, and sunlight, all combining to produce wines capable of competing with the best in the world. This consilience contributes to what the French callterroir, an essential element that, in conjunction with skilled wine-making, can result in the production of world-class wines. For the French,terroir(“tair-wahr”) has near-mythical importance. It describes the natural components necessary for growing premium-quality wine grapes. Recently, various scholars have tried to scientifically quantify those...

    • CHAPTER 4 The Central Coast American Viticultural Area
      (pp. 25-30)

      As you might imagine, anyone writing a book about the wines and wineries of the Central Coast must first understand what constitutes an American Viticultural Area (AVA). As I began my research, I encountered confusion where, naively, I expected clarity. To say the least, California’s Central Coast AVA is an expanding and dynamic designation that covers an extraordinary amount of territory. The size, however, is only one problem. Another problem lies in the fact that the designation continues to grow and change over time as new petitions for AVA status within the region are presented to the federal government. Unfortunately,...


    • CHAPTER 5 Introduction to the Winery Listings and Profiles
      (pp. 33-35)

      This section of the book is designed to provide the information you might need to contact a winery and purchase its wines, or to visit the tasting room and taste the wines. Some of the wineries listed are not profiled, for a variety of reasons. A few of the owners contacted did not wish to be interviewed, and I honored those wishes. Some, despite my persistence, simply did not return calls. Most of the nonprofiled wineries with tasting rooms came into existence after the cutoff date for completing this book. For instance, in the time I was working in Santa...

    • CHAPTER 6 The North-Central Coast (Monterey County)
      (pp. 36-72)

      At the start of each chapter of winery listings and profiles by county, I provide a brief overview of the area’s more recent wine history to provide a sense of its place within the larger context of Central Coast wine history. I also give a description of theterroirthat helps define the wines of the county.

      We know that Father Junípero Serra planted the first wine grapes in Monterey County at San Antonio de Padua after he established the mission in 1771, west of what is now King City. According toWine Style Monterey County, some of those vines...

    • CHAPTER 7 The Mid-Central Coast (San Luis Obispo County)
      (pp. 73-219)

      The Cuesta Grade, which passes through the La Panza range of the Los Padres National Forest at about 1,500 feet, divides San Luis Obispo County into north and south. A southerly descent from the summit provides breathtaking vistas of the hills unfolding in the valleys below. The county derives its name from the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa mission, which also gave its name to the city, home of California Polytechnic State University (where I teach). The city also holds the distinction of being one of the first areas in the county to produce wine.

      In 1772 Father Junípero Serra...

    • CHAPTER 8 The South-Central Coast (Santa Barbara County)
      (pp. 220-328)

      The early days of Alta California’s wine production were in service to the Spanish missions, pueblos, and presidios. In the spring of 1782, during his great trek through the Central Coast, Father Junípero Serra arrived in what we now call Santa Barbara County with the intent of establishing another mission for the Church. He died before his request was granted, and Father Fermín Lasuén founded Mission Santa Bárbara in 1786. Grapevine cuttings, probably taken from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, were planted near Sycamore Creek in Santa Barbara. Between 1824 and 1834 a mission vineyard of about 8 acres was planted...

    (pp. 329-330)
    (pp. 331-334)
    (pp. 335-336)
  10. MAPS
    (pp. 337-354)
    (pp. 355-359)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 360-360)