Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sonoma County, California
Sonoma County is world-famous as a wine producing region, with several distinct growing areas producing a wide variety of wines.
Sonoma County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood.
Sonoma is a Chocuyen Indian name translated by some as "Valley of the Moon" and by others as "land or tribe of the Chief Nose."
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 458,614 people, 172,403 households, and 112,406 families residing in the county. The population density is 112/km² (291/mi²). There are 183,153 housing units at an average density of 45/km² (116/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 81.60% White, 1.42% Black or African American, 1.18% Native American, 3.07% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 8.44% from other races, and 4.09% from two or more races. 17.34% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 172,403 households out of which 31.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.30% are married couples living together, 10.40% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% are non-families. 25.70% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.00% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.60 and the average family size is 3.12.
In the county the population is spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $53,076, and the median income for a family is $61,921. Males have a median income of $42,035 versus $32,022 for females. The per capita income for the county is $25,724. 8.10% of the population and 4.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.40% of those under the age of 18 and 5.70% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Cities and towns
Sonoma County winemaking
Winemaking -- both the growing of the grapes and their vinting -- are an important part of the economic and cultural life of Sonoma County. In 2004, growers harvested 165,783 short tons (150,396 tonnes) of wine grapes worth $310 million. About 80% of non-pasture agricultural land in the county is for growing wine grapes—59,973 acres (242.70 km²) of vineyards, with over 1100 growers. The most common varieties planted are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir, though the area is also known for its Merlot and Zinfandel.
Sonoma County is home to 191 wineries and 11 distinct (and 2 shared) American Viticultural Areas, including the Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, and Dry Creek Valley (the last famed for its production of high-quality Zinfandel).
Interesting places to visit
Sonoma county has a very beautiful coast line, alternating with cliffs and beaches.
- Sonoma County Beaches
- Goat Rock beach is the most beautiful among the lot. The Russian River joins the Pacific Ocean at this beach.
- Sonoma Lake Recreational area
- Bodega Bay
- Luther Burbank Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa *
- Fort Ross, former Russian fur trade outpost *
- Jack London Home, Beauty Ranch, in Glen Ellen *
- Petaluma Adobe, Petaluma *
- Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma *
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