Sonoma-Napa Rivalry Escalates

Larger Sonoma frowns upon high-end Valley
By Eleanor Villforth,  Newser User
Posted Mar 26, 2008 2:54 PM CDT
The two wine regions north of San Francisco have a long-standing rivalry.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The friendly rivalry between California’s two leading wine regions has evolved into an out-and-out marketing duel, reports Reuters. Sonoma winemakers frown upon the more famous—and much pricier—wine made by their neighbors over the hills. Collectors covet Napa Valley’s exclusive vintages, paying from $400-$1,000 a bottle for cult brands, while many Sonoma wines are generally priced under $20, due to larger harvests.

"Wine is for the people," a Sonoma vineyard owner said, opposed to Napa’s wine “for the elite." He makes wine to be drunk with food, not collected. The rivalry is tense, with one Sonoma owner calling Napa wines over-extracted, over-oaked, and over-done, while his are “bottled sunshine." "They're No. 2,” countered a Napa vintner. “They should just face it.”