The Best and Worst California Wine Regions

California is a large and diverse State, however, the wine regions are not all the same. We want to provide you with a quick and easy guide to what we feel are the best and worst regions to purchase grapes from. 

According to Nerdwallet, the top regions outside of Napa are ranked in the following order:

  1. Russian River
  2. Sierra Foothills
  3. Livermore Valley
  4. Clarksburg
  5. Paso Robles
  6. Santa Cruz Mountains
  7. Mendocino 

As you can see, a majority of these are located within the San Francisco Bay Area, however, not all regions within the Bay Area are the same. The Bay Area can largely be split into three regions:

  • North Coast
  • Central Coast
  • Inland Valleys

Of these three regions the Inland Valley wines are considered lower end on the spectrum. Anything from Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley to Tracy and more inland should be avoided. Although you can make very good wine from these regions, you can find equally priced, and much higher quality wine grapes within the other regions.