Historically Important South Coast
This region is extremely important historically, as it was once the center of California winemaking, when missionaries planted their first vineyard at Mission San Diego in 1769. Among the most successful of the missions was Mission San Gabriel, just north of present-day Los Angeles, whose wines were generally regarded as the finest of all the mission wines.
In the Cucamonga Valley, near Los Angeles, the warm climate and sandy soil is well-suited to Zinfandel, and was one of the earliest wine-growing regions, but agricultural use of the land has given way in part to profitable urban development.
To the south, the unique micro-climate of Temecula is aided by its 1,500-foot elevation. Temecula’s Zinfandel vineyards bask in the renowned Southern California sun during the day, but the elevation brings cool afternoon and evening breezes as well as a little coastal fog. Rural in nature, sustainable in farming practices, Temecula Valley is adamant about protecting its vineyard acreage and maintaining the family run wineries.
San Diego County, with its coastlines, canyons, mesas, mountains, deserts and waterways has extremely diverse soils and a Mediterranean climate rich in micro-climates. With the recent regrowth of the county’s wine industry, through floods and fires, they are coming full circle from the first vineyard planted in 1769.
The Antelope Valley/Leona Valley, Cucamonga Valley, Malibu-Newton Canyon, Ramona Valley, San Pasqual Valley, South Coast, and Temecula Valley, are all American Viticultural Areas of this southernmost region.
Zinfandel wines from the Southern California Region tend to flavors of very ripe fruit, dried fruit, and peppery spice, and they are highly aromatic, with a bouquet that is consistent with their flavors.
Other Zinfandel Growing Regions
Although California is by far the primary Zinfandel growing state, small amounts are also cultivated
in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, North
Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
In recent years, Zinfandel has also been planted in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile,
Argentina, France, Italy, and Croatia.