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West Sonoma Coast and top Pinots and Chardonnays to try

The 29 wineries and growers in the western reaches of California’s vast Sonoma Coast AVA are soon to be recognised with their own appellation. Stephen Brook looks at what makes the region unique and recommends 14 top West Sonoma Coast Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs to try.

Every country has bureaucratic impediments, and America’s wine producers are saddled with their AVAs: American Viticultural Areas. It’s simple enough: a geographical entity with defined borders. One of the problems is that, like a Russian doll, one large AVA can shelter lesser ones.

The Sonoma Coast AVA is the perfect example of this, stretching from Marin County up to Mendocino. Within it nestle other AVAs such as Green Valley and Chalk Hill.

Scroll down to see Stephen Brook’s tasting notes and scores for 14 top West Sonoma Coast wines

Not surprisingly, the growers of the very distinctive coastal ranges flanking the Pacific shoreline argue that their region has nothing in common with hotter Sonoma sub-regions such as Alexander Valley. So in 2015 they petitioned the government to create a West Sonoma Coast AVA, which should be approved imminently.

West Sonoma Coast: 14 top wines to try

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