Napa valley extends 30 miles from
San Pablo Bay in the south to Mat St Helena (4349ft) in the north. Ranges
from 1 to 5 miles wide. The temperature can vary 10-12 degrees from one
end of the valley to the other (warmer in the north) Today there are 32,000
acres in Napa Valley. Diverse soil conditions, variety of microclimates
create ideal growing conditions. State of the art technology and leading
edge agricultural and winemaking techniques are imported from the research
at the famed School of Enology in the University of California at Davis.
The Napa Valley is upscale and elegant, but the Sonoma
Valley is rustic and less pretentious. Its name is Miwok for many moons.
Here, family-run wineries treat visitors like friends, and tasting are
usually free. The wineries in Sonoma County - which stretches west from
Napa County to the Pacific Ocean - boast that they win more awards than
their neighbors in Napa. They credit the rocky soil that forces the vines
to root deeper, producing intensely flavored grapes that translate into
especially complex reds.