The wine regions of Southern California produce a diverse array of fine wines, and are uniquely influenced by their respective climates. It is this diversity of wines that enabled California to lead the United States in wine production, with sales of nearly 212 million cases in 2011.
Wineries can be found near the cool, coastal climates of Monterey where Chardonnay and Merlot thrive. More inland, the Central Valley region dwells in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The San Luis Obispo region is characterized by a hot, dry climate that produces big wines such as Cabernet and Zinfandel. The Paso Robles wine region is enjoying the largest growth of all of the California wine regions, due to the dramatic swings in day to night temperatures that produce wines with abundant character. Finally there are the wines of Temecula, the southernmost point of the California wine regions.