California Shenandoah Valley AVA

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

California is tacked onto the front of Shenandoah Valley to distinguish this one from one, established earlier, in virginia. The California model is a mesa between two rivers east of the town of Plymouth. It became famous for hearty Zinfandels before the turn of the century and, after a long slumber, has regained some of its old momentum since the late 1970s, again with Zinfandel at the heart of the matter. More than a score of wineries share a modest acreage that also includes Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. Monteviña initiated the resurgence after Sacramento retailer Darrell Corti encouraged Napa wineries to bottle some of the old-vine Amador Zinfandels. Leon Sobon’s Shenandoah Vineyards and Bill Easton’s Terre Rouge carry the region’s banner commercially, while Young’s has become a cult destination selling mainly at the winery.