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What’s So Special About Anderson Valley?

Posted on June 11, 2019 by Mark Stevens

See our latest Anderson Valley vineyard listing…..

Still somewhat of a secret in the viticulture world, Anderson Valley is to Pinot Noir what Hog Island is to Sweetwater oysters. Meaning, its “terroir” is perfect for two continually trending grape varietals, namely Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Our newest offering for a 15+acre vineyard planted exclusively to Pinot Noir in the Anderson Valley AVA brings this popular varietal into sharp focus.

Like the Sweetwater oysters of Hog Island, not a lot of places can create a decent Pinot Noir, much less a great one. Because of its unique valley formation stretching from the inland 101 corridor to the Pacific coast and flanked on either side by mountains surrounding rolling to nearly level alluvial terraces, Anderson Valley is the perfect configuration for Pinot Noir vineyards. Elevations range from sea level to 2500 feet and annual precipitation ranges from 35-80 inches. The valley delivers the critical one-two punch of cool, ocean-tempered nights with heat-laden, sugar-forming days for fruit that is described as “elegant yet powerful.” As they say, Cabernet is the king of wines (nod to Napa) but Pinot makes kings. Most would agree that a great Pinot Noir can be confused for a nuanced Cabernet, and this is the type of fruit we are talking about here.

The Anderson Valley is 2,500 acres and home to approximately 88 individual vineyard plots and 49 winemaking operations. The valley runs along more of an east-west axis than the more typical north-south alignment. This orientation permits Pacific fog and breezes to penetrate further inland, making for an overall cooler microclimate. Grapes in Anderson Valley are on average three weeks behind grapes from most other California winemaking districts due to its proximity to the Pacific ocean. The Navarro River runs along the lower length of the valley, acting as a cooling influence for the hills on either side. Vineyards are seen at elevations approaching 2,500 feet, but most vines are planted in the low-lying foothills. It is not uncommon, especially in the more southerly half of the valley, to see vines planted right up to the edges of redwood groves. Because Redwood trees like to grow in cold soil it is thought to indicate soils that will grow premium Pinot Noir. Unlike Sonoma and Napa counties, if there is a heat event in the area the vines can easily and quickly recuperate, and the grapes will continue ripening steadily. This makes for a rare combination which produces Pinot Noir fruit that is unique. Hot days combined with a 40- to 50-degree drop in temperature at night results in concentrated fruit on top of elegant tannin structure that has both power and elegance.

Anderson Valley is roughly 16 miles long and for every mile from Boonville to Navarro an average of 1 degree in temperature is lost. As such, when it’s 85 in Boonville, it’s 70 in Navarro. Boonville makes for sassy, fruit-forward pinot. Five miles down the road in Philo the pinot is more piquant with darker fruit. At the end of the Valley–known as the “deep end” and closest to the Pacific–the fruit is herbaceous and spicy.

Anderson Valley’s soils vary but tend to be rich in loam, with differing amounts of rock and
gravel. A recent survey showed that of Anderson’s 2,500 acres, nearly 70% (1,700) were Pinot
Noir, with Chardonnay (559) second, followed by Gewürztraminer (103), Merlot (73), Pinot Gris
(41), and Riesling (22). The aromatic whites, especially those of Navarro, Handley, and Husch,
are often the best in the state. Though produced across a spectrum of sweetness, the most
successful are bone dry in style. Pinot Noir has long been the regional star and tends to land
somewhere between the more citric, high acid style that typifies the Sonoma Coast and the
soft, generous style associated with Carneros. Historically, Chardonnay has taken a backseat in
Anderson Valley but has recently been enjoying a sudden surge in quality.

Being somewhat new to Sonoma County by way of Colorado, I was exposed to this hidden gem of a place–Anderson Valley–through my work as a license real estate assistant for Mark Stevens, a realtor of 30-years who specializes in country estates, wineries and vineyards. It still surprises me how many Sonoma County residents know so little of Anderson Valley, and have actually not been to the valley. Some of the things I love about Anderson Valley is just how plain gorgeous it is, with grassy oak-dappled hills flanked by redwood forested mountains. The feeling is definitely country, with a good dose of farm-to-table gourmet offerings, and of course, amazing wineries and tasting rooms. There is good hiking and camping at Hendy Woods State Park, recreating on the Navarro river, and the promise of the ocean down the way.  Anderson Valley is a great secret worth discovering.

Check out our new listing, Philo Hillside Vineyard

Cheers, Michelle Magnus

June 2019

Michelle Magnus at Hendy Woods State Park in Philo, CA

French Hilltop Stunner to Make its Debut During Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Fest

Posted on May 16, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. share

Known for its stunning, rugged coastline and dense redwood forests, the lesser-known, yet award-winning wine region of Anderson Valley in Mendocino County has been quietly producing some of the finest wine in 

California for decades. With its cool, coastal climate and mineral-rich soil, the 15-mile-long stretch of rolling hills and vineyards, just 10 miles from the Pacific Coast, produces some particularly delicious Pinots.

Now in its 22nd year, the annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival brings together more than 50 local producers in the Anderson Valley for a weekend dedicated to sipping and savoring the beloved, light-bodied varietal. Guests are invited to enjoy food and wine pairings by top local chefs, live music, educational seminars, winemaking dinners and winery open houses, all set amidst the beauty of Anderson Valley’s vineyards and towering redwood trees.

Perfectly positioned in the heart of the Anderson Valley “tasting” corridor along Highway 128, and poised to make its debut on Sunday’s “winery open 

house day,” is 16165 Dear Meadows Road. Represented by The Agency’s Mark Stevens, the hilltop beauty is situated on more than 200 acres overlooking the Anderson Valley. Just moments from the quaint town of Boonville—home to some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wineries in California—the luxe, gated French villa showcases 2,585 square feet of living space plus a 1,100-square-foot guest home and detached three-car auto gallery. Replete with 20-40 plantable acres, the beautiful property brings a taste of the French countryside to Northern California. If you’re in the Anderson Valley area—or looking to make the journey for Pinot fest—be sure to stop by for a visit Sunday, May 19th from 1pm to 4pm.

Planning an Anderson Valley tasting trip of your own? Be sure to check out Wine Country Getaways’ guide to the best Anderson Valley wineries. To purchase tickets to the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, visit its website.

Mark Stevens & Associates Joins The Agency in Healdsburg

Posted on May 01, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Watch out Healdsburg, California….there’s a new RED in town! Mark Stevens & Associates is excited to announce that it has joined The Agency.

THE AGENCY excels in the art of branding luxury properties and developments. They offer a fully integrated marketing solution with a scope of work that encompasses everything from branding to web design, advertising to public relations. A team of graphic designers, analysts, tech gurus and marketing specialists offers strategically driven marketing solutions for buyers, sellers, developers and investors across the globe. The creative team leverages relationships with traditional and new media outlets, as well as the most emergent technologies and social media strategies, to ensure maximum exposure for the properties we represent. They work to bring brands to life in the most comprehensive and compelling way possible, having developed the branding and marketing for more than $4 billion in luxury real estate.

With its new Sonoma County headquarters in downtown Healdsburg, this marks the 6th Northern California office to make its debut over the last year. Other Northern California offices include East Bay, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Monterey, and Marin. The new Healdsburg office is located next door to The Raven Theater and is currently a work in progress. Full move-in is expected sometime in early June, so please come pay a visit–it’s a great excuse to visit one of the prettiest, hippest towns in Sonoma County wine country.

New office address:  The Agency, 119 North Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448

22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Come sip, sample and savor with us as we celebrate the 22nd annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, May 17-19th, 2019! Taste Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (plus rose and sparkling wines) from more than 50 producers, enjoy mouth-watering food pairings by our best chefs and local caterers, and listen to live music while bidding on exquisite auction lots for local charity.

Events range from educational seminars to a BBQ, grand tasting, winemaker dinners and free winery open houses – all hosted amidst the spectacular beauty of Anderson Valley’s vineyards and towering redwood trees. Music lovers will be happy to learn about an added bonus – this year Camp Navarro will host a concert on Saturday evening. Our events are uncrowded and unpretentious, and the Pinots are spectacular, so reserve your tickets (and lodging) now!

Click here to learn more about the Festival…..

Click here to visit our amazing Open House in Anderson Valley during the Festival….Hilltop Beauty on 200+ Acres

Spring Festivals in Sonoma, Napa & Mendocino Counties

Posted on April 09, 2019 by Mark Stevens

The spring season is filled with opportunities to celebrate and savor the exquisite vintages, flavors and beauty of wine country. Discover a few of our favorite upcoming festivals and celebrations you won’t want to miss!

Sonoma County

Sebastopol: 72nd Annual Apple Blossom Festival, April 13 – 14

Sebastopol celebrates the coming of spring with a parade on Saturday and two days of festivities. Come see the diverse and colorful parade floats, complete with old cars and Dachshund troops. The festival includes delicious food and fun craft vendors, as well as microbrews and local wines. Two stages will feature nonstop music both days!

Petaluma: Butter and Egg Days Parade and Festival, April 27

This year’s festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of National Egg Day. Celebrate Petaluma’s rich agricultural history with a full day of contests and music, as well as a parade in the afternoon. There are plenty of food and craft vendors to explore, plus two beer gardens.

Santa Rosa: Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival, May 18

With a theme of “Celebrating 125 Years!” this years parade and festival is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the new season. The parade will open the day and a fun-filled festival will follow. Come out and join this resilient community for a day of fun and celebration!

Napa County

Bottlerock Napa Valley, May 24 – 26

With nearly 100 incredible bands featured this year, BottleRock has something for everyone. Enjoy a weekend in the sunny wine country with an abundance of wine, beer, food, and cocktails.

Mendocino County

Boonville: 22nd Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival, April 27

The Boonville Beer Festival will feature over 80 breweries, including Boonville’s iconic Anderson Valley Brewing Company. There will be tons of delicious food to soak up all that beer, and fun vendors to explore. Ages 21 and up.

Potter Valley: 72nd Annual Spring Festival & Rodeo, May 24 – May 27

Head to Potter Valley for a parade, sanctioned rodeo events, BBQ, axe throwing competitions, a raffle, and plenty of vendors that will keep you sated and happy.

The First Signs of Spring: Bud Break in Vineyards

Posted on April 02, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Celebrating Bud Break

First Signs of Spring in Sonoma, Napa & Mendocino Vineyards

If you’ve been out driving past vineyards in the North Bay, you may have noticed signs of Spring and the harbinger of the new season: Bud Break.

Though pruning crews have been out in the California North Coast’s prized vineyards since early this year prepping the plants, it’s at the first signs of new growth that the new growing season begins. And local growers Monday said “bud break” is upon us in the warmer areas of the region.

Growers often say that the outcome of the previous harvest sets the vines up physiologically for the next harvest. The official tally of the 2018 harvest is still a month away, but the North Coast haul is expected to be larger than 2017. The value of the North Coast wine grape harvest that year was $1.5 million.

“Buds on chardonnay in the Carneros AVA are swelling and bursting,” said Brittany Pederson, viticulturist at Renteria Vineyard Management, in Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ announcement of the new season that quotes several members of the trade group. “These are the first signs of bud break. In the weeks to come, when the weather gets consistently warmer, the sap will start flowing and the vines will be woken up. Bud break will really start to take off then.”

READ MORE at the North Bay Business Journal

 

*Article and image courtesy of the North Bay Business Journal