The Sonoma Mountain AVA - Home to Laurel Glen Vineyard
At the 2,463 ft (751 m) summit, Sonoma Mountain offers expansive views of the Pacific Ocean to to the west and the Sonoma Valley to the east. Up until about twelve million years ago, this location was part of the seabed of the Pacific Ocean. In the Miocene era a massive period of uplift ensued. This uplift formed the volcanically based Sonoma Mountains as well as the Mayacamas Mountains to the east. The viticultural area extends up the eastern slopes of Sonoma Mountain to almost 1,700 feet (520 m) in elevation. Laurel Glen Vineyard ranges from an elevation of 850 to 1,000 feet.
The eastern and northern slopes are protected from afternoon heat and hence are more densely forested in oak woodlands. Due west of Sonoma Mountain is the Sonoma coastal plain and a gap in the Pacific coastal range commonly known as the Petaluma Gap. The bulk of the mountain forms a windbreak against the coastal wind and fog intrusions through the Petaluma Gap and thus only the eastern slopes of Sonoma Mountain are suitable for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Sonoma Mountain AVA is one of the smallest in Sonoma County at only 667 vineyard acres.