Wine Growing Areas

Unlike France, where the northerly region of Champagne with its chalky, limestone-rich soils dominates and defines the celebrated region’s sparkling wine production, when it comes to California bubbly, no one area or terroir stands out. Sparkling wines in the Golden State that have the highest quality reputations tend to lie in cooler climates, as a rule, whether due to proximity to the coast or to higher altitudes (cooler mornings and evenings and thermal amplitude). In the end, and with the understanding of high-quality fruit as a starting point, the skill and hand of the winemaker stand out as much as anything else, as we shall discover below. The greatest constellation of premium sparkling wine producers in California, whether or not they rely on 100% estate-grown fruit, or purchase or augment through networks of grape growers, are to be found in:

  • Napa Valley: mainly Carneros but a few other locations
  • Sonoma County: mainly Russian River Valley (in varying neighborhoods) and the Sonoma Coast
  • Mendocino County: mainly Anderson Valley
  • Marin County: mainly around Point Reyes

Sparkling Wine Around The World

All over the globe, people LOVE their bubbly which is demonstrated in the vast array of countries and regions where sparkling wines are made. While it would be a safe wager to say every country that makes wine also makes sparkling wine, below is a chart/list of leading nations and, where applicable, their primary regions called out. Grapes will vary along with production methods and styles of wine by country/region.

  • France: Champagne, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Alsace, Rhône Valley (Die), Languedoc (Limoux), Bordeaux 
  • Italy: Piedmont (Asti, Acqui), Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige (Prosecco), Lombardy (Franciacorta), Emilia Romagna (Lambrusco)
  • Germany: Pfalz, Mosel, Rheingau, etc.
  • Spain: Catalonia (most important), as well as smaller amounts made in Aragon, the Basque Country, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Navarra, Rioja, Valencia
  • Other European countries: Austria’s Kamtal (Langenlois) and Niederösterreich (Weinviertel) Portugal (Bairrada)
  • Australia: Victoria (Yarra Valley, King Valley, Mornington Peninsula), South Australia (Adelaide Hills), Tasmania 
  • New Zealand: Marlborough, Central Otago, Hawkes Bay
  • South Africa: Western Cape, Stellenbosch, Tulbagh, and Paarl
  • The Americas
    • Argentina: Mendoza, especially the Uco Valley
    • Chile: Casablanca, San Antonio (Leyda), Southern Valleys (Malleco, Bio Bio, Itata), Osorno 
    • Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul (Vale do Vinhedos, Pinto Bandeira, Farroupilha)
    • Canada: Ontario, British Columbia (Okanagan)
    • USA (beyond CA): Oregon, Washington, New York, New Mexico, Michigan