One of the five wine growing regions in California. It forms a 560-kilometre strip along the coast of the Pacific Ocean from the north south of San Francisco Bay to Los Angeles deep in the south. The region is best known for agriculture and tourism. The Salinas Valley is considered one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the USA. Besides vines, many vegetables and fruits like lettuce, strawberries and artichokes are grown here. A special feature are the climatic differences between the higher situated warmer wine growing areas like Paso Robles and the lower situated colder ones like Santa Maria and Monterey. This can be explained by the fact that the cool layer of air from the Pacific Ocean forms a layer of haze that gets trapped below the higher areas. The vineyards cover 25,000 hectares of vineyards. The red wine varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel thrive particularly well here, as well as the dominant white wine variety Chardonnay, which is typical for California.
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