Mendocino County Wine


Mendocino County AVA is a large and climatically diverse region within the North Coast region of California. Wine-making began here in the 1850s when failed gold prospectors planted vineyards. Italian immigrants arrived soon after and expanded plantings into the hillsides. Despite the expansion of the wine industry at this time, Mendocino County wines remained fairly obscure and isolated, though more and more vineyards were being planted for local consumption. But this isolation worked in the region’s favor, as many of the vines were spared from the Phylloxera epidemic and the rest could be salvaged by regrafting as hybrid European-American rootstock, which was immune to the dreaded louse. 
However, like most of the California wine industry, Mendocino County suffered near collapse during the Prohibition from 1921 - 1933. The region did not recover until the 1960s when the Parducci and Fetzer family estates rose to prominence. Other wineries followed their example. Today Read more »

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Popular wines made in Mendocino County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Mendocino County View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of Mendocino County

  • Anderson Valley

    Anderson Valley AVA is located within Mendocino County in the North Coast region of California....

  • Yorkville Highlands

    Flanking both sides of Route 128 connecting Sonoma’s Alexander Valley with Mendocino's Anderson ...

  • Mendocino Ridge

    "Islands in the Sky"™, as most locals call it, is a more romantic and appropriate name for ...

  • Redwood Valley

    The Redwood Valley AVA is a subregion of Mendocino in California’s North Coast. The region bene...

Popular Wineries in Mendocino County View all

  • Handley Cellars

    Our estate vineyard experiences cool foggy nights and bright sunny days, the perfect climate f...

  • Elke Vineyards

    Elke Vineyards is comprised of about 80 acres at Donnelly Creek in Anderson Valley, and about 18 ...

  • Harmonique

    "Producers have turned The Valley’s pristine cool climate grapes into honest wines. Sophisticated...

  • Claudia Springs Winery

    Claudia Springs Winery was founded in 1989 by Bob and Claudia Klindt in the picturesque Anderson ...

  • Golden Cellars

    Golden Vineyards is the gorgeous byproduct of two individuals who, when spliced together, make fo...

  • Lazy Creek Vineyards

    Lazy Creek Vineyards is named for the meandering creek that runs through the 95-acre ranch locate...

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Mendocino County on Snooth

  • Rivers-Marie Bearwallow Vineyard Chardonnay 2018


    A Chardonnay that has, clearly, seen oak, but it is not over the top--not buttery or caramely. Initial impression is tropical fruit--pineapple, kiwi, papaya, As the wine passes back I get some stoniness. Then the acid hits and I get a suggestion of lemon. My kind of Chardonnay. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Dirty & Rowdy Rosewood Vineyards Old Vines Carignane 2018


    Something of a funky nose that doesn't seem to be blowing away. Delightful berry fruit on the tongue--blackberry, blueberry. A "big" mouthfeel--almost viscous, Nice tannin and acid. Fun to enjoy tonight, but my remaining stash will stay sideways for quite a while. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Chardonnay 2015


    Crystal clear straw color. Stark nose suggesting granny smith apples. VERY lean under the palate. Quite tart with the slightest suggestions of apple or stone fruit. Acidity makes for a very refreshing quaff. Good wine for summer sipping. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Halcon Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard 2017


    Very murky in the glass. Rustic nose of foliage. Light red fruit on the tip of the tongue, Then more complex flavors. That "cinnamon thing" that I sometimes get with PNs. Some earthiness, Quite light bodies. Very brief aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Jolie-Laide Halcon Vineyard Syrah 2017


    Possibly, the "biggest" Syrah from Halcon Vineyard that I can remember. Raspberry is the most noticeable fruit. Then a spice--cardomon? It just has such a big mouthfeel. Also, it is surprisingly smooth, I have another bottle of this, but I wish I had a lot more. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Theopolis Vineyards Symphony 2017


    Clear pale yellow. Nose of tropical, but, also, stone fruit. Sure enough, I get a banana suggestion along with peach and, maybe even, apricot. There is fruit "sweetness" around the edges of the tongue, but the next sensation is tartness--which I like. Good wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Rivers-Marie Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016


    Mid-level body. Light cherry on the tip of the tongue. Some initial sulfur funk blows of pretty quickly. Baking Spice, Bubble gum on the nose.Some steeliness. Now, noticeable acid. A very unusual and changing wine. I am OK with this wine, but it doesn't blow me into the weeds. On the other hand, I am going to dedicate storage space to th... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Theopolis Vineyards Pinot Noir Yorkville Highlands 2015


    Fairly light-bodied easy-to-drink wine. Red cherry up front. Lively acid. Stoniness farther back under the palate. I was hoping for a more muscular wine, a la the Theopolis PS, but this is more of the current trend with California highly restrained Pinot Noirs. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Theopolis Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2014


    Unusual, almost prune color. Somewhat cloudy in the glass, and definitely appears to be somewhat light-bodied. Moderately fruity nose, Lots of red cherry on the tip of the tongue. Also some surprising astringency--that may be from acid. Very observable mineral things under the rear palate, In contrast to my visual prediction, while this is ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Halcon Roussanne Yorkville Highlands 2018


    A very crisp wine. Lemon pith that I quickly detect tells you that there is acidic crispness. I also am getting a tropical flavor--kiwi. Some stoniness. Very pleasant herbal aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

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