Mendocino
: Anderson Valley AVA

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Scouts for Louis roederer of Champagne say they hunted in California until they found somewhere with weather as bleak as Roederer’s home in north-eastern France, and that Mendocino county’s coast-hugging Anderson Valley fitted their requirement perfectly. Visually, scores of scenes sluiced out by a short, swift river, the Navarro, make landscape painters lunge for canvas and brushes. Close framed by steep hills, the valley has only a couple of patches that might pass for floor and, unusually for California’s valley vineyards, only one or two of the 20 or so are flat. Anderson Valley is hardly 10 miles end to end, but a steady rise in elevation from 800 to 1,300 feet combines with a rising wall of hills to make the inland end at Boonville warmer and sunnier than the oft-befogged area between Philo and Navarro, where most of the vines grow.