by Sarah Shotwell

regional-spotlight_central-coast_blogIn this season’s introductory case, we’ve included Ridgeridger Cellars Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast! The Central Coast is a large AVA (American Viticultural Area) spanning from Santa Barbara County all the way up through Santa Cruz (just south and west of the San Francisco Bay Area). The region encompasses many smaller AVAs with varied climates and soil types, including Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, and Carmel Valley. This strikingly beautiful region has launched some internationally recognizable, award-winning wines in recent years, and is giving Napa and Sonoma a run for their money. It has also been home to many classic movie sets, including The Ten Commandments, Scar Face, The Spirit of St. Louis, and Of Mice and Men.

Some of the most notable wines from the Central Coast have been Bordeaux and Rhône-inspired blends out of Paso Robles, Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County, and Chardonnay from the Arroyo Seco region. The Central Coast, which has been called “The Heart of Spanish California,” is a blossoming region tucked between the major cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and includes the most famed stretch of Highway 1. Along this very long wine trail, visitors get an eyeful of the Pacific Ocean and blue skies with endless options for passionately grown farm-to-table fare along the way. Best of all, the region is known first and foremost for being happy, friendly, and hospitable, which proves our long held theory that wine, no matter the price, always pairs best with kindness.