Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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California wine region and ava. Much of the AVA is composed of deep-soiled islands in the central valley delta from a point near Sacramento west beyond the town of Clarksburg. Though its position in the river channel leaves its vineyards open to the strongest summer sea fogs, the vast proportion of surrounding water retards overnight cooling when fogs are not afoot, so Clarksburg is far from being California’s coolest vineyard district. Although a spectrum of varieties grows within the zone, only chenin blanc truly distinguishes itself. Indeed, only here in all of California does Chenin Blanc become regionally identifiable. For all practical purposes it has swallowed up the Merritt Island AVA, which lies within its western end.