California's newest and nearly largest winemaking area is a vast sweep of high desert spanning Kern and Los Angeles counties, in which relatively few grapes are currently grown.
But one can always dream.
On Tuesday, federal regulators established the Antelope Valley of the California High Desert Viticultural Area. The approval means a handful of high-desert winemakers can use the title on their labels, conveying a very sunny message.
"Almost every(one) comments on the fact that our area is different from other wine growing regions they have visited," Antelope Valley tasting room consultant Candace Doyle advised regulators. "They are curious about our hot summers, cold winters, altitude, and our high desert climate."
The new Antelope Valley viticultural area joins more than 100 other winemaking regions of California that have received similar recognition. The distinct character, though, goes beyond what Doyle described as the "full bodied and bold flavors of our wines."