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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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

  • Ceago Estate Wines

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

  • Parducci Wine Cellars

    Parducci Wine Cellars makes environment-friendly choices because they are the right ones. Righ...

  • Edmeades Winery

    The first row of vines were barely in the ground when the neighbors began lining up to lean on th...

  • Sketchbook

    Mendocino is the home of towering redwoods and craggy bluffs overlooking the rugged Pacific coast...

  • Graziano Family of Wines

    Gregory Graziano's grandfather, Vincenzo Graziano, and his wife Angela, first planted vineyards ...

  • Girasole Vineyards

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

People getting updates on Mendocino Wines

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Mendocino on Snooth

  • We need to try those DV!!Tonitght it's Skylark 2013 Grenache, Mendocino County. Lots of cork problems and I wrote to them about it. They acknowledged the issue and said they had a problem in 2013 and dumped their cork supplier. They also offered to make the wines good, but they're not big producers and I wasn't going to push it, although I appre... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...


  • Ceritas Pinot Noir Hacienda Secoya Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting wine. I see from previous notes that I had raved about this wine. This bottle, though, does not match that opinion. A very pretty bright floral nose. On the tip of the tongue, though, when I normally get fruit from just about any wine, I get no fruit, here. I get stoniness, I get savory and I get, maybe, salinity. I do get some... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Halcon Wentzel Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A lot of red berry fruit on entry. Then, some very surprising, and pleasant, spiciness. Surprising, to me, tannin (for a PN). Fairly light bodied, although with an aftertaste that does linger. A very pleasant and complex wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rivers-Marie Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a cherry nose. Sure enough red cherry on the tip of the tongue, but not syrupy, not fruity, not over the top. Nice, refreshing acid tartness. An unusual rear palate sensation that I can only describe as "foliage." I am not a PN guy, but this one hits the sweet spot for me. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Halcon Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhat disturbing taste of cola on the tip of the tongue, but, thankfully, that quickly fades. The flavors similar to stewed prune. Fairly light-bodied. Mid-length finish. An enjoyable but not particularly aspirational wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Parducci Small Lot Blend Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Still loving this wine a few years later. Brightness of the berry thing has diminished, a bit, and I'm sure that is a result of a few more years of bottle age. I've had the '15 and the '16 versions of Alturas in the not-too-distant past and this one is observably more full-bodied. Still observable tannins and acids suggest that this one could... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands Mendocino County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful dark color. (What else for a PS?) Tart black fruit nose. Very chewy dark fruit on the tongue, Think unsweet prunes. Some steeliness. Plenty of tannin and plenty of acid. I really think this one has a pretty long life in front of itself. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Bearwallow Vineyard 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Probably, a higher acid Chardonnay than most people like, but I'm enjoying it. I do get oaky vanilly, but, no question, there is very noticeable lemon pith or, maybe, tart green apple. I might criticize that the wine does not seem to evolve as it moves back. It is what it is. As I said, I like it, but I can see why it might not appeal to all. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • A couple more from Pax Mahle arrived today:L - The 2016 Pax Chenin Blanc Buddha's Dharma Mendocino CountyR - The 2015 Pax Syrah Alder Springs Vineyards Canto Ridge Terraces Medocino County Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


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