- Central Valley
the chief wine-producing region of California, centered in San Joaquin County.
* * *IValley, California, U.S. Located between the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges, it is more than 400 mi (640 km) long and 20–50 mi (32–80 km) wide.The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which run through the valley, are fed by abundant rains and melting snows of the Sierras. Because of the irrigation made possible by numerous dams and canals, the area now contains some of the richest farmland in the U.S.IIValley, Chile.Located in central Chile between the Western Cordillera of the Andes Mountains and the coastal range, it extends about 400 mi (650 km) from the Chacabuco Range in the north to the Bío-Bío River in the south. The agricultural heartland of Chile, it was the original centre of European colonization beginning in the mid-1500s, and it continues to be home to most Chileans. Santiago is at its northern end.
* * *also called the Great Central Valleyvalley, California, U.S. Extending from Shasta county in the north to Kern county in the south, it covers about 18,000 square miles (47,000 square km) and parallels the Pacific coast for about 450 miles (725 km). Averaging about 40 miles (65 km) in width, it is almost totally enclosed by mountains, including the Klamath Mountains (north), Sierra Nevada (east), Tehachapi Mountains (south), and Pacific Coast Ranges (west). The Sacramento (Sacramento River) and San Joaquin (San Joaquin River) rivers, which run through the Central Valley, are fed mainly by the abundant rains and melting snows of the Sierra Nevada's western flank. The San Joaquin Valley in the south embraces more than three-fifths of the entire basin, and the Sacramento Valley in the north makes up the remainder. The most northerly part of the Sacramento Valley, known as Anderson Valley, extends about 30 miles (50 km) north of the city of Red Bluff. The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers combine southwest of the city of Sacramento in an area known as the Delta Lands to enter San Francisco Bay, the Central Valley's only outlet to the Pacific Ocean.The development of ranching and agriculture in the valley progressed rapidly after the California Gold Rush in 1849. Because of the irrigation made possible by numerous dams and canals, the area now contains some of the richest farmland in the United States and produces more than 300 crops, including cotton, fruits (wine grapes, peaches, apricots), grains (wheat, rice), nuts (pistachios, almonds), and vegetables. With about 300 growing days per year, the valley produces about one-fourth of the food consumed in the United States. The valley is also rich in petroleum and natural gas.geological depression in central Chile between the Western Cordillera of the Andes and the coastal range, extending for about 400 miles (650 km) from the Chacabuco Range in the north to the Bío-Bío River in the south. The valley is the agricultural heartland of Chile and consists of a 40- to 45-mile- (64- to 72-km-) wide plain made up of a vast thickness of heavily mineralized alluvial soils deposited by the region's principal rivers, the Maipo, Rapel, Cachapoal, Teno, Maule, Itata, and Ñuble. This central section of Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with the cool, dry summers and mild, rainy winters characteristic of the western coasts of all the continents between 30 and 40 degrees latitude. Vegetation varies with altitude: near sea level Solanum maritimum, a relative of the potato, is common; up to 2,500 feet (760 m) characteristic plants include a treelike lily (Crinodendron patagua), Bellota miersii, and low trees such as Acacia. The original dry forest, however, has gradually succumbed to urban and agricultural encroachment.The valley was the original focus of Spanish colonization beginning in the mid-1500s. It continues to be the home of the majority of Chileans and is the predominant agricultural region of the country, containing 40 percent of all its cultivated land, and the main wine-producing regions of the country are found in the valley. Santiago, the capital and cultural centre of the nation, is situated at the northern end of the valley. Four other significant urban centres—Rancagua, Talca, Chillán, and Temuco—are located to Santiago's south along a longitudinal railroad constructed midway between the Andes and the coastal range; each city is a centre of settlement of Chile's rich agricultural hinterlands outside Santiago. A section of the Chilean portion of the Pan-American Highway runs southward through the valley from Santiago, and air service connects all major centres.
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