Napa and Sonoma Counties, located north of California’s Bay Area, produce the vast majority of the finest American wines. Of the two, Napa County is more intensely focused on grape-growing to the exclusion of other crops, with one particular style of wine dominating production: Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. With luxurious winery tasting rooms carpeting the region, Napa Valley has become an adult Disneyland of sorts for fans of pricey red wines, where the “affordable” bottlings often sell for $50 or more.
Sonoma County is just as remarkable a destination for wine tourism, but considerably more diverse, democratic, and down to earth. With twice the land area and a long stretch of coastline, Sonoma County is not just wine country, but a farming mecca just as well known for its cheeses, orchards, beer, and vegetables. Sonoma wineries also offer a wider range of styles, with cooler vineyards near the ocean specializing in sparkling wines, chardonnay, and pinot noir, while warmer zones further inland make denser, richer styles like cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, and merlot.
Many of Sonoma County’s best deals carry Italian names on their labels, reflecting the heritage of Sonoma’s early vineyard pioneers. Having vast tracts of vineyard land in the family for generations makes it possible to produce excellent wine at fair prices, like this outstanding cabernet sauvignon from Sebastiani. Drawing on vineyards in key inland appellations like Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley, it offers ripe, rich flavors of bing cherry and cocoa, with only a mild inflection of toasty oak accents from barrel aging.
Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
$14.99 14.9% alcohol
PLCB Item #6102
Sale price through Nov. 28 – regularly $16.99
Also available at:
Total Wine & More in Wilmington and Claymont, Del. - $13.97
Canal’s Bottlestop in Marlton, N.J. - $14.09
Gloucester City Bottlestop in Gloucester City, NJ - $14.96