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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Merlot

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

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 the Me...

  • 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

  • Jim Ball Vineyards

    The idea for Jim Ball Vineyards began over 27 years ago. Traveling the West Coast for the first t...

  • McFadden Vineyard

    McFadden Vineyard has been family owned and operated since 1970 in Potter Valley, where Guinness ...

  • Greenwood Ridge Vineyards

    Since 1980, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards has developed a reputation for producing award-winning esta...

  • Silversmith Vineyards

    Tom Johnson Managing Partner A member of the fourth generation of his family to farm in Mendocin...

  • Lazy Creek Vineyards

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

  • Handley Cellars

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

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Mendocino County on Snooth

  • Due Cani Cellars Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Hayley 2007


    I'm don't know how to describe wines very well, but I sure like drinking this one. I think it should mature a little while, but it's really delicious now. Nice color, nose and finish. It's just really tastes great for a young pinot and I'm guessing it will only get better over the next several years. One of the best pinots I've ever tasted. Read More

    Wine review by williame5

  • Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Auslese 2007


    There is a bit of sulfur here but it can't obscure the apricoty fruit with subtle green plum edges. There are light spice and slate tones that add some complexity here. On entry this is downright succulent with a voluptuous feel that leads to a liquid mineral/quartz midpalate. The backend is very lean and crisp leading to a fine, long, focused m... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Méthode à l'Ancienne Unfiltered 1994


    We open our California Pinots presuming they are on a 7 year cycle, and the midpoint of the cycle they become quite bland. This bottling is one of the flagship wines from Navarro. At the second peak at 14 years, this wine has become very nuanced. Hints of lavender and other florals in the nose with the tastes of cherries and strawberries pred... Read More

    Wine review by vintagesf

  • Navarro Vineyards Muscat Anderson Valley Cluster Select Late Harvest 1997


    One of the best things that Navarro does is late harvest wines. If you like to drink your dessert, these are really good, especially when accompanied by roasted chestnuts. This particular bottle, our last of the vintage, was caramel colored and beautifully scented with lichee and peach notes. Very sweet on the palate but balanced by enough ac... Read More

    Wine review by vintagesf

  • Fat Cat Cellars Syrah Mendocino County Cat Rotie 2005


    100% Syrah and dark purple in color with a nose full of violets and chocolate, beautiful flavors of black currant and licorice, and finally leaving you with a smooth finish and hints of cedar.The bottle label was a little vague regarding the vintage and where the grapes are from, I think these guys bottled CA wine in CT. Whatever, it was pretty ... Read More

    Wine review by vigna uva vino

  • Lazy Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2007


    There's something about an Anderson Valley pinot. They're big, and Lazy Creek is no exception. Their gewurtztraminer is one of my favorites. Aside from having delicious wines, the vineyard experience is unparalleled. Dogs, horses, and fowl run amok. It always felt like wine tasting in the owner's garage. Sadly, the vineyard was sold in 200... Read More

    Wine review by ShoMeBeach

  • Meyer Family Syrah 2003


    Solid, varietal-correct syrah from Mendocino. Meyer Family Cellars is a producer of quality syrah and port, I think all from Mendocino. This wine was consumed in January 2009, and tasted young, with decent acidity and still firm tannins. The flavors were of smoky dark fruits with peppery highlights, and the color was a dark purple. I really enjo... Read More

    Wine review by brianpm

  • Navarro Vineyards Pinot Gris Anderson Valley 2002


    Delicious and refreshing. A strong honey scent leads into a complex mingling of apricot and light peach. Would complement spicy Asian food. Read More

    Wine review by rosewino

  • Navarro Vineyards Pinot Gris Anderson Valley 2002


    No written review

    Wine review by rosewino

  • Navarro Vineyards Pinot Gris Anderson Valley 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by rosewino

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