California Pinot Noir – north to south


See California Wine Summit - a guide.

Spanning 500 miles (805 km) and 18 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), from Anderson Valley in the north to Santa Ynez in the south, Pinot Noir covers 39,610 acres (16,030 ha), according to official government statistics for 2012. This puts the variety in fourth place in the ranking of dark-skinned varieties, after Cabernet Sauvignon (80,630 acres), Zinfandel (47,603 acres) and Merlot (45,689 acres).

To make sense of the diversity of wines, Karen MacNeil (above left), director of the Culinary Institute of America's wine programme (the CIA's well-equipped tasting room is shown below) and author...