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Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley AVA of California, or more correctly, California Shenandoah Valley (to differentiate it from the Shenandoah Valley AVA of Virginia), is situated in Amador and El Dorado Counties in the Sierra Foothills region of California. Vineyards are located some 1400 feet above sea level, yet this is still a very warm zone for growing grapes. Zinfandel is the leading variety and the one that first brought fame to this area, when Sutter Home Winery first produced Zinfandel from Shenandoah Valley grapes in the 1970s. The dry, hot climate here yields robust wines; these Zins regularly check in at 15% alcohol and higher. (Wine/Appellations)
Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is the largest of the seven AVAs in the state of Virginia (note: a small section of this AVA is located in West Virginia). The AVA is situated in the western reaches of the state, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. The climate is largely continental, but prevailing winds aid growing conditions, making this a bit warmer than other wine regions of the state. A wide variety of grapes are planted in the AVA, from hybrids such as Vidal, Chambourcin and Traminette to international varieties such as Chardonnay (about 25% of the total plantings), Malbec and Merlot. Most plantings are on rolling hillsides, with some as high as 1600 to 1800 feet. Most wines are priced for less than $20, with many in the $15 and under range. (Wine/Appellations)