Learn about the regions our wines are from


An appellation is a legally defined geographical region where grapes are grown for wine. Each appellation has certain rules and regulations for its winemaking process. These rules are upheld under appellation laws to protect winemaking processes and maintain a certain quality of wine production. Wines with appellations provide a credibility that a certain standard of winemaking has been met and the quality of the wine is guaranteed; a standard very much valued by CMS Wine Marketing for the wines in our portfolio.

Napa Valley

As the first Agricultural Preserve in America, Napa Valley is a region of incomparable natural beauty and wine growing heritage being preserved for future generations through environmental leadership and community stewardship. Though just 4% of California’s wine grape harvest, Napa Valley is small in size yet big in stature. It was the first American Viticultural Area or AVA to be designated in California in 1981.

Howell Mountain

Overlooking the town of Saint Helena, CA, Howell Mountain AVA is a sub-appellation of the Napa Valley AVA and is located in the northeast side of Napa Valley near the town of Angwin. Howell Mountain AVA was established as an American Viticultural Area in 1983 and was the first sub-appellation within the greater Napa Valley AVA.


Oakville is located in the heart of Napa Valley. This means it experiences both the heat of the northern reaches and the cooling influence of the Bay’s fog and breezes. Because of this, of the Cabernet-centric valley floor appellations (St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville), its wines, while ripe and powerful, tend to exhibit remarkable finesse and energy.


Rutherford is located at the widest part of Napa Valley, therefore the vines enjoy the most sun of any of the valley floor appellations. This makes for phenolically ripe wines with soft tannins and dense fruit. The benchland, which has deep gravelly soils and protection from the hot sun, imbues a nobility and elegance into the mix, along with distinctively grainy tannins which some associate with the term “Rutherford Dust.”


Los Carneros AVA is a American Viticultural Area that spans across parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma. Los Carneros is known for its relatively cooler temperatures due to the marine fog and breezes coming in off the San Pablo Bay. Carneros is unique among American appellations in that it spans both Napa and Sonoma counties; because of this, it is not technically a “nested” AVA of Napa Valley and the Napa part of the area is referred to as “Los Carneros.”

Sonoma Coast

Located on the furthest western sliver of Sonoma County, made up of steep, rugged mountainous terrain along the Pacific Ocean coastline, the West Sonoma Coast AVA holds approximately 50 vineyards planted with several varieties, mostly Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. The approval of the AVA recognizes the uniquely cold, marginal, and maritime growing conditions of this region.