By Lisa Rowlands

Named after a Native American riverside village, Yuba County has a winemaking history that dates back to the gold rush period of the mid-nineteenth century. At that time, predominantly white grapes were cultivated here by European immigrants, and sold locally as wine and brandy. However, few wineries survived the decrease in population after the miners left, and fewer still, the impact of prohibition from 1920 onwards.

The re-emergence of Yuba County on California’s viticultural scene began in the 1970s, when the Fellowship of Friends purchased around six-hundred hectares of land in what would later be designated North Yuba AVA. This sub-appellation, distinguished by its soils and microclimate, remains at the centre of Yuba’s wine industry today. Most of the county’s wineries are found in this area, where conditions synonymous with mountainous regions, such as significant diurnal temperature variation, produce low yields of well-balanced, flavoursome grapes and subsequent high quality wines. In contrast to the county’s early days of winemaking, Yuba County is now most associated with red varietals from grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

AVAs of Yuba County

North Yuba AVA

Established in 1985, North Yuba is an American Viticultural Area in Yuba County, California. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at elevations of around five to six-hundred metres above sea level, this area is known for producing deeply concentrated, flavoursome wines from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.

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