Inside the Central Coast

With its diverse collection of vineyards, California's Central Coast is quickly becoming a world-renowned wine growing region.

a. The Central Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA) stretches 250 miles along California's coast from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Hundreds of vineyards dot the coastline, each with its own climate, soil and history. Bound together by a single defining characteristic - proximity to the Pacific Ocean - the vineyards of the Central Coast are turning out unforgettable wines.

Grape varieties from Albariño to Zinfandel - and nearly everything in between - thrive under the region's warm days and cool nights. The film Sideways brought national attention to the appellation's Pinot Noir, but Chardonnay claims the most Central Coast acreage. At the southern end of the AVA, Bordeaux and Rhône varietals reign on south-facing hillsides and high benchlands.