Production started in 1850s but took off 100 years later. It is firmly rooted by Champagne.
- Location – Carneros AVA, Russian River valley AVA, Anderson Valley AVA
- Climate – Warm Mediterranean, sparkling wine grapes grown in the coolest areas where sea breezes and fog lowers the temperature.
- Grapes – Chardonnay & Pinot Noir
Some Champagne houses have subsidiaries in California and make sparkling wines here, for example:
- Taittinger – Domaine Carneros
- Mumm – Mumm Napa
- Moët & Chandon – Chandon Sparkling
- Location – Columbia Valley AVA
- Climate – Warm continental. Almost dessert like in the rainshadow of the Cascade Mountains. The climate is extreme with very warm summers and very cold winters (-26C). Northerly so days are long and diurnal range is very large.
- Grapes – Mostly Chardonnay with some Riesling and PN.
Well known producers: Treveri and Domaine St Michele (see Seattle Met)
- Location – Willamette Valley AVA
- Climate – Cool Maritime. Most vines are directly exposed to the airflow of the Pacific, this gives milder winters and cooler and wetter summers. Long diurnal range.
- Grapes – Chardonnay and PN with Muscat, PG, Riesling and Müller-Thurgau.
Well known producers: Argyle and Soter (see Food & Wine)
Viticulture & vinification
- Harvest – Grape destined for sparkling wines often picked two weeks earlier than the rest to maintain acidity
- Vinification high quality – Traditional method
- Minimum aging – There is no minimum aging but many producers age at least 12 months and for premium even higher
- Vinification high volume – Tank and carbonation
- Style – Most popular Brut, also used is BdB, BdN and Rosé
- Vintage on label – 95% from that year
- AVA on label – 85% from that AVA (depending on the AVA)