Description 1 of 2

Alexander Valley, part of Sonoma County in California, is named for pioneer Cyrus Alexander. A Pennsylvanian, he chased the gold rush to California and was hired by San Diego landowner Captain Henry Delano Fitch to survey ranch prospects. In 1840, Fitch secured a land grant from the Mexican government for Alexander to manage the Rancho Sotoyome, in what was then still a Mexican frontier. Among other crops, Alexander planted the first vineyard. By 1875, after more settlers came to the valley, more than 230 acres were devoted to vineyards. 
 
But the crop that Alexander Valley was best known for up through the 1960s was prunes. However, because of their increasingly difficult cultivation and price competition, vineyards replaced most of the prunes. Alexander Valley gained AVA status in 1984. The cool climate region grows Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot for reds, and whites such as Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. ~Amanda Schuster
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

The Alexander Valley AVA sits at the top of Sonoma County with about 15,000 acres of much prized vineyards. Within the 76,000 total acres of this AVA, there are a variety of microclimates supporting a substantial range of grape varieties. While Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme on the gravelly terrain of the valley floor, the Alexander Valley AVA also produces notable Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Even some cooler-climate varieties, like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, have found a niche here in the shadow of Mendocino. Just enough coastal fog finds its way up the Russian River Valley to create cool evening and morning conditions. This, however, gives way to hot mid-day temperatures in what is overall a relatively warm growing area. Originally, the AVA was designated for the alluvial floodplain vineyards on both banks of the Russian River, but those boundaries have since been expanded to include mountainside vineyards. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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