Shenandoah Valley Climate & Grape Growing
The Role of Climate in Shenandoah Valley’s Vineyards
The elevation of the Shenandoah Valley AVA ranges between 1,200 and 1,600 feet above sea level. Located in the Sierra Foothills, coastal fog does not reach this far inland.
Zinfandel is king in the Shenandoah Valley AVA, but Rhone and Italian varietals are gaining popularity. Barbera, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Syrah, and Petite Sirah are increasingly being planting. The Trinchero Family’s Montevina Winery produces an excellent Zin-based blend with a bit of Petite Sirah and Barbera.
Barbera and Nebbiolo are probably the two biggest threats to Zinfandel’s reign, but they will likely complement rather than replace. Nebbiolo has shown promise in the region, but quality clones are very difficulty to come by. Additionally, this grape is notorious for its difficulty in the vineyard. Port is also produced in the region as well as some Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
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