Thursday, September 21, 2023

Exploring Wine Regions: The Central Coast of California by Michael Higgins -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


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It is important that we talk about terroir before we begin exploring this book.

This book about the wines of California's Central Coast is the third book in Michael Higgins's Exploring Wine Regions series. The first two books covered Bordeaux country in France and the wines of Argentina. Like the first two, this California book is a meticulously researched, insider account of wineries and vineyards, as well as a travel guide to the food, special lodging, sights, and history you will find. 

This book focusses on the Central Coast of California, specifically Monterey, San Louis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties. This coastal area stretches from south of San Francisco to Santa Barbara, just north of Los Angeles. 

I'm familiar with some of the wineries of the Central Coast, mostly those around Paso Robles, from when I lived in San Francisco. But we never did a deep dive into wines of this area. California is close to me here in Oregon and we have family in the Bay Area and Central Coast, so I plan to use this book to plan several wine-centered road trips. 

You can read my review of Higgins's France and Argentina books here. Go to the Exploring Wine Regions website for more information about this book, the series, and Michael Higgins. 


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Exploring Wine Regions – California Central Coast is the third book in the series exploring a lesser-known area of the wine regions in California. Most everyone knows of Napa Valley and Sonoma County; however, the Central Coast Wine Regions are producing top-level, high-quality wines, and the tourism is extraordinary.

Twenty million years ago, the Pacific Plate arose from the Pacific Ocean hitting the North American Plate (Canada, United States and Mexico) leaving a sliver of land above the water along California’s coast south of San Francisco. This sliver of land has its own very special terroir highly conducive to making high-quality wines. This book takes you on a journey to discover these amazing wines.

Also, the tourism along the central coast of California is unmatched. The beaches, mountains and valleys are ever so enchanting. The wineries are engaging, have lots of tourism activities available, and are especially inviting and friendly, unlike other wine regions. It’s not uncommon to find the vintner or winemaker at the tasting room wanting to share their stories and their love of wine with you.

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