Southern Napa

Also known as "Los Carneros," for the wine grown most prominently on the rolling hillsides that surround highways 121 and 29, southern Napa is more than something to wave at out the windows. It's all about the wine in Los Carneros. The rural area has no small towns, no shops, and just a few restaurants--but it has some of Napa's best and most distinct wineries and a few lovely resorts with fabulous views of those vine-covered terraces.

Spanning both Sonoma County and Napa County, Los Carneros' proximity to the San Pablo Bay lends a cool and foggy climate, ideal for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. The reulting Chardonnays are characteristically crisp and minerally, while the Pinots tend to towards spicy berry flavors with earthy undertones. Sip and sample at award-winning wineries Artesa and Acacia.

These distinctly cool growing conditions, the coolest in Napa, also caught the eyes of international sparkling wine producers from Champagne and beyond. As a result, producers such as Gloria Ferrer and Domaine Carneros have made it the center of production for California sparkling wine.

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