Mendocino Wine

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The Mendocino AVA lies within the Mendocino County region in the North Coast territory of California. It is located well inland of the Pacific Coast, but still benefits from its cooling effects. It’s a broad region with many subregions, with a vast range of styles. Cooler climate districts tend to grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc while warmer climes go for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. But each subregion has its own character:

-Cole Ranch: less rainfall, warmer days, but high elevation and cool nights to retain acidity in the grapes.
-McDowell Valley: known for Rhone varietals Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Marsanne and Viognier.
-Potter Valley: high humidity creates perfect growing conditions for botrytis late harvest dessert wines from Semillon and Riesling as well as dry wines. 
-Redwood Valley:  soil types well suited for reds, especially Rhone and Italian varietals. 
-Yorkville Highlands: long growing season and microclimates Read more »

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Popular wines made in Mendocino under $20

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Varietals Produced in Mendocino View all

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • 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

Popular Wineries in Mendocino View all

  • Bliss Vineyards

    In the late 1930s Irv Bliss was drawn to Mendocino County by its beautiful rolling hills and un...

  • Rosati Family Winery

    The Rosati Family believes in coming together often. We enjoy our many family celebrations that a...

  • Girasole Vineyards

    Charlie Barra planted the home ranch, Redwood Valley Vineyards, in 1955, and has farmed approxima...

  • Ceago Estate Wines

    Ceago Vinegarden is owned by Jim Fetzer, former President of Fetzer Vineyards. Jim grew up with ...

  • Carol Shelton Wines

    Carol Shelton is widely cited as the most awarded winemaker in the United States. She has won cou...

  • Eaglepoint Ranch Winery

    Eaglepoint Ranch Winery is a partnership between sparkling-wine pioneer and chocolate-maker John ...

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Mendocino on Snooth

  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2018


    Dark berry fruit. Then I notice that this wine is more full-bodied than previous vintages. Very interesting. Also seems to be more tannic than previous efforts. Over the last five or six years I have enjoyed this bottling, but I really like the direction this is going. A much more fulfilling wine. Multiple thumbs up, Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2016


    Opens with nice dark fruit, then, some noticeable salinity. Nice tart acid fills the mouth. Interestinly, I had he full cluster fermented version of this wine (Elevacion), yesterday. This one is a "bigger" wine in every way. Much thicker mouth feel and much more full-bodied. I prefer this one. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Halcon Elevacion 2016


    100% Whole Cluster fermented in contrast to Halcon's other Syrah bottling, Alturas.I know I have tried the '16 Alturas, but I cannot find any notes. So, any comparison is going to have to come from memory. I do remember that there was a Halcon Alturas that did not really whelm me. It had to have been the '16. This wine is quite lean. There ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2017


    Forest floor or, maybe, a mushroom nose. Initital tongue sensation is shy red cherry. Then I get some herbalness--almost minty. Some salinity. A slight amount of tannic puckeriness. Medium body. Pleasant finish. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Halcon Elevacion 2017


    A quite restrained wine that opens with just a suggestion of blackberries. Intrestingly, I am getting a lot of earthiness. A lot of acid spritz on the edges of the tongue. A very good wine today that will be better in the coming years. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • 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

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