Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Mendocino, one of california’s largest and climatically most diverse counties. All of its 17,000 acres/6,900 ha of vineyards are in the southern half. Even there, the meteorological range between the coastal Anderson Valley ava and the interior McDowell Valley AVA (barely used) is extraordinary.

Isolation from San Francisco kept its 19th-century vineyards small, and delayed their impact outside the county. The same isolation kept wine for surreptitious resale there throughout prohibition. Most of the plantings flank the town of Ukiah, near the headwaters of the Russian River. Redwood Valley was the first to have its own AVA, later joined by tiny Cole Ranch, Mendocino Ridge, Covelo, Dos Rios, McDowell Valley, Potter Valley, Yorkville Highlands, and Anderson Valley.