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

  • RIVINO Winery

    We are a small boutique winery located in Mendocino County. We make only estate wines from our fa...

  • Sketchbook

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

  • Mendocino Wine Co.

    Paul Dolan along with Tom, Tim, and Tommy Thornhill Jr. have come together to create Mendocino Wi...

  • Bliss Vineyards

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

  • Topel Winery

    Topel Winery and its Hidden Vineyard are perched on the east side of Duncan Peak — 1400 feet abov...

  • Graziano Family of Wines

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

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Mendocino on Snooth

  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2017

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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


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