Wine tasting: Sonoma Valley is no longer Napa’s poor cousin by Sarah Wong

With its cooler climate and diversity of soils, it has often been compared to Burgundy. Wine lovers' tastes are changing with a preference for purer, elegant style with crisp acidity. This is Sonoma's forte, specialising in chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah.

David Ramey, the founder of Ramey Wine Cellars, has come a long way since 1979, when he graduated from UC Davis with a degree in oenology. He has worked in Bordeaux at Chateau Petrus with stints in Australia and Napa Valley. He worked at Dominus in Napa before setting up his own winery in 1996. Since his first production of 260 cases, the winery has expanded to an annual production of 35,000 cases. Ramey eschews technology and producing "squeaky clean wines" and has adopted natural winemaking to emphasise the terroir.

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