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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • RIVINO Winery

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

  • Carol Shelton Wines

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

  • 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,...

  • 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 ...

People getting updates on Mendocino Wines

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Mendocino on Snooth

  • Porter Creek has a few interesting things.  They are right at a bend in ... They make a Carignane from Mendocino fruit that is tasty.  Barely a stone's throw from Casa OT.  We should all pack their minuscule tasting room some time.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Viognier


  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bright red fruit flavor on entrycherry, plum. Savoriness arises mid-palate. Then, spicinessthe tongue tingles. A very interesting wine. Just a tad more tannin than I would have expected. Very refreshing acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Don't diss that Hearty Burgundy, it was often great QPR, or so I felt in ... north to Sonoma and Napa and Mendocino, I was already getting an education and becoming a little fussy. Anyway, a lot of that HB was downed by my circle of acquaintances, with few complaints. Of course as a mass-produced product it had variations from lot to lot, some... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Dashe Dry Riesling Mcfadden Farm Potter Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity on the nose with lemon, grapefruit and green apple notes plush and fresh and a touch of oak. Perky acidity and a bit spicy on the palate, the citrus and stone fruit character continues with white peach, pink grapefruit and lemon pith, finishing with more oak notes that are more on the herbal side than the creamy side. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Bedrock Alder Springs Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Oh, wow. A nice, light introduction of fruitblackberry, plum, maybe, even, pomegranate. Nice savoriness as the wine passes back. Noticeable, but very sedate tannin. Nice, lip-smacking acid gives it freshness. There will be no Day 2 report on this wine. ;-) Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Nice to see people enjoying some bottles with a few years on them! I have a ... ... Edelzwicker. This Mendocino white blend starts out with a really nice floral and slightly lemony nose. From the glass there's a creamy tongue coating texture that provides a nice path for the slightly sweet ripe pear, a hint of clove and maybe even a touch of ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Light application of red fruit on the tip of the tongue. That dissipates fairly quickly and there is some dustiness mid-palate. Surprisingly noticeable tannin. Some acid tartness. Medium bodied. As I noted a year ago, an easy wine to drink. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Parducci Sauvignon Blanc Small Lot Blend Mendocino County 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Lemon zest and a hint of a green, peppery grassy note on the nose. Juicy and full in the mouth, with lovely tropical fruit notes of mango and papaya, lemon lime and a tart finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Sketchbook Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Darkly smoked notes of strawberry and raspberry with burnt earth and tar notes. This is more fruity in the mouth, but a bit tart with cranberry and strawberry fruit and a whole lot of acidity. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Moniker Pinot Noir Mendocino County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Cool black cherry and dark warm spice on the nose make for a pleasant combination with perfumed tea leaf, raspberry and black pepper notes. This is a touch herbal on entry and hiding its fruit a bit behind waves of sticky tar, toast and oak but towards the finish there's a bloom of cherry and raspberry with good length and structure. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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