Central Coast is a large AVA (American Viticultural Area) that spans from Santa Barbara County to the San Francisco Bay. A very large AVA, the Central Coast encompasses approximately 6.8 million acres, of which 90,300 acres are planted to winegrapes. The region produces almost 15 percent of the state's total winegrape production and is home to about 360 wineries. The cool climate in much of the Central Coast AVA is excellently suited to the Burgundy varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, despite the fact that the northernmost part of the region is a full 10 degrees closer to the equator than Burgundy. The hotter, more inland areas of the Central Coast are also good for Zinfandel, especially in San Benito County and Paso Robles. Cabernet Sauvignon does well in the higher-altitude area around the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Monterey.
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