California’s Sonoma Valley, also known as Valley of the Moon, is situated between the Mayacamas Mountains (which separate it from the napa valley to the east) and the Sonoma Mountain range on the west.
The northern end of the Sonoma Valley AVA starts just southeast of Santa Rosa and extends in a southeasterly direction to San Pablo Bay; it includes the Sonoma portion of the carneros ava.
The southern end of the valley (Carneros) is cooler, and chardonnay, pinot noir and merlot do better there. cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel do well in various warmer locations around the valley and in the mountains.
The valley’s first winery was the original Buena Vista Winery, established by agoston haraszthy.
In Alexander Valley the northern region the temperatures are somewhat on the warm side because fog is not as prevalent as in other growing areas. It generally falls into the Region III category (see climate regions of california).
The region, however, is versatile enough to do well with a wide variety of grapes including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, riesling, sauvignon blanc and zinfandel.
Approved in 1988, the Alexander Valley AVA comprises 76,000 acres, of which approximately 15,000 acres are planted with vines.
Producers such as Silver Oak Cellars (based in the Napa Valley, with a winemaking facility in the Alexander Valley) make Cabernet Sauvignon with an “Alexander Valley” designation, indicating that the grapes came from this growing region.