Contra Costa County region
Once a booming wine growing region, Contra Costa AVA, located east of San Francisco Bay, in California, today has a much smaller wine footprint due to encroachment of urban development. However, what Contra Costa lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. The sandy soils, lead to hearty vines with deep root systems that survive on limited ground water. Combine these growing conditions with hot days and cool nights and the result is small, concentrated grapes with rich complex flavors.
The area is known for its earthy Old Vine Zinfandel, as well as its Rhône varietals such as Carignane and Mourvèdre. Even thought fewer acres are under vine, the wines produced in this region are critically acclaimed and the grapes are in demand by winemakers in Napa and Sonoma. Those looking for the majority of the surviving vineyards will find them in the eastern part of the county near the towns of Oakley and Brentwood.
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