Winters Highlands has been designated as the newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This distinctive region, poised to make its mark in the world of wine and gastronomy, includes 7,296 acres on the inner slope of the Coastal Range. Nestled in the heart of Northern California, the Winters Highlands AVA showcases a unique terroir that promises to delight the senses and elevate the wine enthusiast’s experience.
The Winters Highlands AVA boasts a blend of topographical features that contribute to its unique climate and soil composition. With elevations ranging from 100 to 400 feet above sea level, the region enjoys a microclimate that allows for the cultivation of a diverse array of red and white grape varietals such as Petite Sirah, Syrah, Tempranillo, Malbec, Garnacha (Grenache), Sauvignon Blanc, and Albariño. The well-drained gravely loam layered over dark red clay soil, combined with the cool, lingering coastal influence and ample sunlight, create the ideal conditions for producing wines of exceptional depth and character.
Winemakers within the Winters Highlands AVA are already gaining recognition for their commitment to innovation and sustainable practices. By leveraging the distinct characteristics of the region, they craft wines that capture the essence of the land and reflect the nuances of each vintage. From bold reds with velvety textures to crisp whites with vibrant acidity, the wines of Winters Highlands AVA offer a symphony of flavors that will captivate both connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike.
In addition to its vinicultural excellence, the town of Winters is gaining recognition as an epicurean’s destination. The area’s fertile land yields an abundance of fresh, locally sourced ingredients that inspire chefs to create gourmet culinary experiences. The marriage of fine wines with delectable dishes transforms the Winters Highlands into a haven for food and wine pairings, inviting visitors to embark on a memorable culinary and wine journey.
“We are thrilled to have the Winters Highlands AVA published and look forward sharing our special wine region with wine lovers throughout the world,” said Corinne Martinez, President and COO of Berryessa Gap Vineyards. “This region encapsulates the true essence of our special place in Northern California, and our passionate vintners are dedicated to crafting wines that reflect the beauty and uniqueness of our terroir. Whether you’re a wine lover, a food enthusiast, or someone seeking to explore the wonders of nature, the Winters Highlands AVA has something extraordinary to offer.”
In addition to Berryessa Gap Vineyards, Turkovich Family Wines and Collina de Bella Winery are growing grapes and producing wine from the Winters Highlands AVA. Other wineries that are sourcing from vineyards within the AVA, including some in Colorado, Texas and Oregon will also now be able to use Winters Highlands on their wine labels bringing more recognition to the region. Martinez also said, “We are grateful for the support from Congressman Mike Thompson and former Congressman John Garamendi, as well our TTB representative, Karen Thornton. All were instrumental in helping to get the AVA finalized and published.”
As the Winters Highlands AVA takes its place among the distinguished winegrowing regions of the world, it invites both seasoned adventurers and curious newcomers to experience the magic it holds. The official designation of the Winters Highlands AVA marks the beginning of a new chapter in the world of wine, where tradition meets innovation, and nature’s bounty is transformed into liquid artistry.
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