SoCal vs NorCal Southern and Northern California Differences
Hello, this is Shirakami, the representative of SoCalization, a Southern California wine specialty store!
Since I always use the word "Southern California" repeatedly, I am sometimes asked, "Is California different between north and south?" In this post, I would like to clarify the "north-south difference" from a cultural perspective and a wine perspective.
table of contents:
- 1. Which cities are representative?
- 2. What are the boundaries?
- 3. Cultural differences
- 4. Wine regions
Which cities are representative?
What city do you imagine when you hear the word "California"?
For cities with large airports that have direct flights from Japan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego may come to mind.
For wine lovers, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, etc.?!
There is California, but as a former San Diego resident, don't lump it all together as "California"! The atmosphere changes quite a bit depending on the city, as much as the local love comes out.
Just drive about 30km and you'll see places with completely different atmospheres.In fact, the distance from the northernmost point to the southernmost point in California is over 1,600km , roughly from Hokkaido to Kagoshima . Hokkaido and Kagoshima are completely different, aren't they?
So, I (←), who used to live in San Diego for 7 years and thought of traveling by car to San Francisco in the north, but I've taken a plane (←), will explain each representative city and its image along with a diagram.
San Francisco is a representative city of Northern California " NorCal ". It is commonly known as the "Bay Area" , and basically people from towns near San Francisco say things like "I'm from the Bay Area" without mentioning the city name. Napa, famous for its wine, is about an hour's drive from here, about 70km inland.
"Silicon Valley" where tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Uber gather is here! Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley are also in this area. With such high-salary talent gathering, the rent is skyrocketing, and even an old one-room apartment costs about 300,000 to 400,000 yen!
It has four distinct seasons, and it's so cold in winter that you might wonder, "Is this California?!" There is a beach, but the water is said to be too cold even in summer, and even dangerous for swimming due to rip currents.
Sports teams include MLB's San Francisco Giants, NFL's 49ers, and NBA's Warriors.
Representative of Southern California " SoCal ", Los Angeles. "The California" It is no exaggeration to say that the image of California in Japan is here . Hollywood and Beverly Hills are included in the so-called “Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area”.
Southern California has a lot of fine weather, making it easy to shoot movies, and it seems that the film industry has developed. However, the population is the largest in California, and the traffic jams are terrible. There are also statistics that people are caught in traffic jams for 120 hours a year.
California's summer fashion and lifestyle trends .
Sports teams include the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels in MLB, the Rams and Chargers in NFL, and the Lakers and Clippers in NBA. By the way, "Anaheim", which is famous for having Disneyland, is not Los Angeles County (county), but Orange County. So in fact, the official team name is "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim".
Southern California border city with Mexico. San Diego, known for "The Best Weather on Earth" (best climate in the world), is also known as "THE FINEST CITY" ( the best city ) , and boasts the popularity of "No.1 city where you want to live after retirement" in California. .
Although it is not a big city like Los Angeles, it has a large area and a total population that is surprisingly larger than that of San Francisco. Perhaps because of the climate, the inhabitants are easy-going. Many people enjoy life without worrying about the details. The comfortable summer attracts tourists from all over the United States. Winter lasts only two weeks, but the locals dress up in down jackets and scarves just in case.
When it comes to surfing, craft beer, and Mexican food, it is a sacred place that leads Southern California. There are many Mexican dishes in other California cities, but San Diego residents don't have a "favorite Mexican restaurant," but rather "favorite meat taco place ," "favorite seafood taco place," and "favorite burrito place." Commitment to the extent that it is subdivided.
Sports teams included the San Diego Padres, which has been making headlines for MLB's recent acquisition of Yu Darvish, and the NFL's Chargers, which moved to Los Angeles.
Extra: Sacramento <br>Although it is not well known, it is actually the state capital of California . Located in Northern California, about 140km inland from San Francisco.
What are the boundaries?
Where exactly is the dividing line between Northern and Southern California? In conclusion, it is not official . In terms of Osaka people's expression, it may be similar to the blurry boundary between "Kita" and "Minami", but NorCal and SoCal are purely mental categorizations.
However, residents south of the Los Angeles area will definitely call themselves "SoCal", and people in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, will definitely call themselves "NorCal". People in the cities in between call it the "Central Coast," but there is no official boundary.
*This image is a border made by someone as a joke. The area between Los Angeles and San Francisco is categorized as a "NOBODY CARES" area...lol
By the way, if you split it in half latitudinally, San Jose in Silicon Valley will be almost on top of it, so it's probably not an appropriate way to divide it from the mental point of view of California residents.
"Then, how far does SoCalization treat as 'Southern California'?" , as the north-south boundary of our company .
Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo are categorized as "Central Coast" in the California Wine Association's list of regions, while some regions are in "Southern California". The reason for including this area is that many people often think of it as SOCAL , and that it is closer to the typical southern California city in terms of climate. From SLO" (slow) to "California SLO-CAL where time flows slowly" , the municipality of San Luis Obispo appeals to tourists, and it is also a lifestyle that SoCalization wants to spread. Because it connects.
I haven't been to SLO County yet, but I drank at a restaurant in San Diego, and the wine from Justin Winery in Paso Robles was great in SLO County, so definitely go and explore the surrounding wineries. I want to
* Postscript: Justin Winery will be available from October 2021
Difference in culture
Let's dig deep into the story of culture.
As I wrote above, the industrial difference between Northern California, the world's No. 1 tech mecca in Silicon Valley, and Southern California, where Hollywood is the mecca for entertainment, also creates differences in the people who gather there. am.
Without fear of misunderstanding, I think that the north of Silicon Valley has a culture of geeks, people who love to study, work enthusiasts, and a left-brained culture . Even watching the American comedy drama " Silicon Valley ", I saw a child programmer taking Adderall, a drug that improves concentration, and writing programs all night long. My uncle, who lives in San Jose, told me that children in the area go to cram schools and aim to study at top schools such as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.On the other hand, Southern California, which has a strong entertainment industry such as Hollywood movies, has a strong right-brain culture . When it comes to comedy-drama comparisons, Modern Family comes to mind, but it is a story about a family living in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I think that the world is depicted in the foreground. USC (University of Southern California) and UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) are world-famous schools, but they are strong in film-related departments, and have a weak image of geeks and hard- working people. It is an image that there are many people who do it. At least I have lived there for 7 years and I don't remember talking about "children who go to cram school". I think that Southern California culture values personal and family time more than work .
In terms of food culture, both North and South have been greatly influenced by Mexican and Asian immigrants, so there is not a big difference, but Mexican food is more popular in Los Angeles than in San Francisco, and San Diego than in Los Angeles. They say it's delicious and I agree! Los Angeles and San Fran people who come to San Diego all say, "San Diego's Mexican foods are f**king good!"
SoCalization is currently in the wine business, but we would like to import the food culture that originated in Southern California in addition to wine, so please look forward to Mexican food.
*All of these are my personal views, so some people may disagree!
* Postscript: Craft beer and hard seltzer other than wine will be on sale from January 2022!
NorCal people use "Hella 〇〇〇" a lot. It means "meccha 〇〇〇" in Japanese, but SoCal people hate hearing it lol
A little above, I touched on the wine regions in the story of the north-south boundary, but I would like to summarize the famous wine regions in each region.
"Napa Valley" and "Sonoma Valley" are known both in Japan and around the world, but California, which stretches north and south, has many other wine-producing regions! I wish I could tell you that.
To that end, we will first summarize the overall California figures based on the California Wine Association website.
Categorizing the wine-producing regions based on the largest concept, we can divide them into the following six major regions . I'll post a map image at the bottom of this section, so check it out there too.
- Far North California
- Inland Valleys
- North Coast
- Sierra Foothills
- Central Coast
- Southern California
*In order of the northern limit of the region
Napa and Sonoma are on the North Coast. Socalization basically covers parts of the Central Coast and Southern California .
The next broadest concept is the county, which is an administrative unit one smaller than a state . I won't list it here because it's going to be long, but it's made in 31 counties . There are 58 counties in California, so about half of the counties grow grapes for wine. You can tell that wine is made all over California.
To list a county as an appellation, a minimum of 75% grapes must be from that county .
Next is AVA . American Viticultural Areas, which are officially recognized by the U.S. government , also play a role in branding the area according to the rules that indicate the origin of the grapes used for wine.
If an AVA is to appear on the label, it must contain at least 85% grapes from that AVA , and no out-of-state grapes.
Across California, there are 140 AVAs , including sub-AVAs that are sub-AVAs. Of these, 34 AVA, which will be used as a defense range for Sawcalization, is one-fourth . If you think so, the percentage of Southern California wine is quite a lot!
The AVA range handled is shown in a table.
Geographically speaking, as shown in the figure below, coastal cities such as Santa Barbara and Malibu Coast and the inland cities of Temecula are quite different even within the same Southern California region.
I wrote more about the Malibu Coast in our Malibu Rocky Oaks feature , so please read that. In a nutshell, the volcanic soils of the Santa Monica Mountains, which are home to many wineries and are prone to fog, provide cool mornings and nights and plenty of sunshine during the day, ideal for viticulture.
Temecula is about 35km inland from the coast, so it is drier than the coast, receives relatively little rainfall, and receives as much sunshine as Malibu.
Is it too hot? However, the temperature drops steadily at night, dropping below 10°C in winter and around 15°C in summer. The temperature difference between day and night leads to the production of grapes suitable for wine. Also, in the Wilson Creek fields, they use branches and leaves to create natural shadows so that the sun doesn't shine too much.
The soil of Temecula is a mineral-rich Decomposing Granite soil, which is better drained than clay soil and is a very good condition for viticulture. The poorer the soil, the better the grape cultivation for wine. In addition, since the roots are extended deeply by securing water, it absorbs minerals from the ground and creates a good taste and aroma.
The Beaujolais Nouveau region of France, which is famous for Beaujolais Nouveau, has the same granite soil, and the Gamay variety used for Beaujolais Nouveau is said to be suitable for such land. * However, Gamay is rarely cultivated outside of Beaujolais, and I don't think it is cultivated in Temecula either.
Other grape varieties suitable for granitic soils include Chenin Blanc , Riesling , Syrah and Zinfandel . More than 24 other varieties are also grown, according to the Temecula Tourist Board, including Italian varietals Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Viognier, Tempranillo, Gabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
SoCalization's signature almond sparkling wine is based on Chardonnay from this region. In the near future, we will be stocking a Cabernet and Zinfandel blend and another signature White Cabernet Sauvignon .
*Sales start from May 2021!
At the moment, we only deal with Temecula Valley and Malibu Coast, but we would like to expand the range and provide various options and create opportunities to experience the lifestyle of Southern California in the future. Thank you very much!
* Postscript: The production area we sell has expanded from Paso Robles to San Diego!
That's it for today!
SoCalize & Socialize! Enjoy SoCalize!
- 7 differences between Northern and Southern Californians , Matador Network, https://matadornetwork.com/life/7-differences-northern-southern-californians/
- 10 Things South California Does Better Than North California , Movoto, https://www.movoto.com/guide/ca/california-rivalry/
- When People from SoCal Meet People from NorCal , Trevor Wallace, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aF7Z6Edg_Y
- California Wine Association "List of production areas" https://calwines.jp/b2b/wines/origin/
- San Luis Obispo Tourism Association (Visit San Luis Obispo) https://www.slocal.com/
- Temecula Tourism Association (Visit Temecula Valley) "About Temecula Wines" https://www.visittemeculavalley.com/wine/about-temecula-wines/
- Rock Solid: Granite Terroir in the Wine World , Wayne Belding, Wine Review Online http://www.winereviewonline.com/printArticle.cfm?articleID=1512
- A Wine Lover's Guide to Vineyard Soils, Tim Atkins MW https://timatkin.com/cork-talk/a-wine-lovers-guide-to-vineyard-soils/
- “[Sommelier Column] A big influence on the taste of wine! Explaining the relationship between wine and soil” Hanako Ishiseki https://www.nomooo.jp/column/114665/