[blue_large]Russian River Valley AVA[/blue_large]
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Russian River Valley AVA lies adjacent to and west of the city of Santa Rosa and incorporates the southern reach of the Russian River, where the river bends westward and cuts through the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean. The AVA is characterized by the regular intrusion of cooling fog from the coast. The fog flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the river. The fog generally arrives in the evening or early morning and retreats before noon in the day. The appellation was granted AVA status in 1983 and accounts for about one-sixth of the total planted vineyard acreage in Sonoma County. In 2005 the AVA was expanded by 30,200 acres (122 km2) to 126,600 by recognizing previously overlooked portions of the fog regions. Presently the Russian River AVA includes more than 15,000 acres (61 km2) planted to wine grapes. At last count, 79 wineries were listed in the Russian River Valley Winegrowers website. The area is known for its success with cool climate varietals, notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.