Leona Valley AVA
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The 13.4-square-mile (35 km2) Leona Valley American Viticulture Area was established on October 29, 2008 by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, announced by the publication of Treasury Decision TTB-71.
The AVA includes the Leona Valley plus the adjacent hillsides of the Sierra Pelona around the valley floor as well as isolated hills in it, resulting in a total of 8,600 acres (35 km2).
Leona Valley is a long, narrow valley surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, in the northeastern corner of Los Angeles County about 50 miles (80 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean and north of the Metropolitan Los Angeles area. This valley is separated from the Pacific Ocean by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south and the Santa Susana Mountains to the southwest. Portal Ridge on the northeast divides Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley and Mojave Desert.
Leona Valley is currently home to several growers. They are growing Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Petite Verdot, Pinot noir, Syrah, and Malbec covering the French, Rhône, and Burgundy regions of grape varieties. Many grape varietals thrive thanks to the region's soil and balanced temperatures.
Some of the early wineries of California were established in and around the Leona Valley. Previously flourishing, Prohibition shut them all down in the early 20th century. When federal regulators came to break up the wine barrels so they could no longer be used, it was said the creeks ran red. Many old-timers in the wine industry from Napa and Sonoma still remember and speak of the Leona Valley for its outstanding wines from the pre-prohibition days.
Many of the vineyards planted long ago are still alive and producing usable grapes for wine production in the region. The Leona Valley Winery is an active vineyard here.