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

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Zinfandel

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

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...

  • Seabiscuit Ranch

    The story of Seabiscuit lives on in the heart of America. Everyone loves the tale of this stocky,...

  • Pacific Star Winery

    The West Coast's only ocean-side winery was bonded in 1988 by winemaker-proprietor Sally Ottoson,...

  • Bonterra Vineyards

    We've been farming organically since 1987. Because it's our belief that organic grapes make bette...

  • Sketchbook

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

  • RIVINO Winery

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

People getting updates on Mendocino Wines

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Mendocino on Snooth

  • Handley Petite Sirah Vittorio Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Excellent Petite Sirah from the CA North Coast. Loads of ripe blackberry, black cherry and just a hint of tar and smoke. Nicely balanced with well resolved tannins, medium acidity and a fairly long unctuous finish. This paired perfectly with grilled marinated london broil. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • There's a happy rumor (OK, it is more than a rumor.) that Myriad is going ... miles east of the town of Mendocino. This is one of the very coolest vineyards in California. The cluster and berry sizes at Oppenlander are the smallest I have ever seen! The fruit for the Halcón Oppenlander Pinot Noir was picked October 1st. Given the early start t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Dark blueish purple in color. Fairly sprightly tart nose. Lots of berry on the tip of the tongue--red raspberry with, maybe, a touch of less-than-fully-ripe strawberry. Good acid tartness (suggested by my strawberry characterization) makes for a refreshing glass. Fairly full-bodied. Tanniphobes have no reason to fear this one. It is quite ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Old World Winery Mendocino County Alicante Bouschet 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Ruby red color. Musky, earthy nose. Delightfully light hit of acid fruit on the tip of the tongueplum, peach. Not for anybody who is looking for berry flavor. As the wine moves towards the back of the palate, I get a slate-like earthiness. Not a terribly full-bodied wine, but pretty easy to drink. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Fetzer Riesling 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Ennis1


  • Halcon Esquisto Yorkville Highlands 2013

    Snoothrank:

    PnPed. Fairly dark red color. Subdued nosemay open up with more airbut there is noticeable dried fruit hits. On the tongue and under the palate, there is a delightful but light initial hit of dark fruitIm sticking with the dried fruit idea and saying prunewithout a lot of fruity sweetness. Not unexpectantly, this isn't the biggest red wine i... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Steele Pacini Zinfandel Mendocino North Coast 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Liandra160


  • Vintjs Mendocino County Carignane 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity and a bit earthy on the nose. Likewise the palate is fruity and a bit earthy with little acidity and almost no tannins or finish. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • OT, duh. Don't know what I was thinking, other than not having been there ... ... be Lake Co., rather than Mendocino. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Parducci Petite Sirah Reserve True Grit 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This is definitely a food wine due to the extreme dryness. Well balanced, full bodied, nice strong finish. I liked it with steak. It was overly dry solo. Read More

    Wine review by connie7899


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