The South Coast includes the coastal regions of California extending from Los Angeles all the way to the Mexican border. It includes all or part of five important California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino and San Diego. The top wine varietals from California’s South Coast include Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache and Zinfandel.
In terms of temperature and climate, the South Coast is especially notable for its warm weather and year-round sunshine. The warm temperatures are moderated somewhat by the cooling influences of the Pacific Ocean.
The South Coast includes several American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): Temecula Valley, Antelope Valley/Leona Valley, San Pasqual Valley and Ramona Valley. While these AVAs might not be as well-known as those of Napa Valley and Sonoma, it is no longer uncommon to see them discussed in mainstream food and wine publications. Food & Wine, for example, recently included a feature story on the wineries of the Temecula Valley.
Some of the more notable wineries along the South Coast include Malibu Family Estates, Santa Barbara Winery, Bel Vino Winery (formerly known as Stuart Cellars), Bernardo Winery (the oldest family-owned and family-operated winery in Southern California), Thornton Winery, Ferrara Winery, Falkner Winery, Churon Winery and San Antonio Winery.
Due to the year-round perfect temperatures and sunny skies, it’s no surprise that wine tourism has flourished along the South Coast. The region has proximity to major cities like Los Angeles and San Diego, the Pacific Ocean and Mexico. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see wineries that are also boutique hotels or spas along the South Coast.