Northern Sonoma received its designation as an AVA in 1990. Situated over 329,000 acres, Northern Sonoma is home to sub-appellations Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Knights Valley, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, and Sonoma Coast. It is the second largest appellation within Sonoma County. It contains myriad elevations, soil types and climates. It was designated, in large part to allow the term, "Estate" to be applied to vintages from large producers like Gallo and Rodney Strong but is home to some small producers as well. The primary grape produced in this area is Cabernet Sauvignon but Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel are grown here as well.
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