Anderson Valley AVA in western Mendocino County in northern California ranks with the top Pinot Noir regions in North America. Cutting laterally through the coastal range rather than lying between ridges, the west or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley is only a few miles from the cold Pacific Ocean, while the town of Boonville is some 20 miles to the east. Such unique geography results in a wide diurnal range, with daily high and low temperatures occasionally diverging 40 or 50 degrees. This enables Pinot Noir growers to keep acid development in line with sugar and flavour formation through long, warm Indian summers. It also makes for notable Gewurztraminer and Riesling, giving rise to the valley’s annual Alsatian festival. In eastern and ridge-top sites there is plenty of warmth to ripen Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The proximity of the Pacific Ocean to the west makes Anderson Valley one of California’s coolest wine regions, making it suitable for traditional method sparkling wines.

White wines: Chardonnay. Gewurztraminer. Riesling.

Red wines: Pinot Noir.

Wineries

Navarro Vineyards.

Contact: Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association.