Larger than other California wine regions, Monterey County boasts over 40,000 acres planted in varietal winegrapes. Within the world-class designation of Monterey County, the region has nine American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) that have been identified as truly one-of-a-kind winegrowing districts: Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe. These areas are referred to as "appellations" which is a term that identifies the winegrape's place of origin. A vineyard's location is made up of a synthesis of geography, climate, soil types, and viticultural practices. These elements combine to provide characteristics that make the grapes and the wine unique from that locale.