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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.

Guide To Mendocino Wine Country

Posted on January 09, 2019 by michelle_magnus

Mendocino County is quickly becoming one of California’s top wine destinations. Featuring the famed Anderson Valley and highly acclaimed Pinot Noir wines, Mendocino is a beautiful mix of charming small towns and rugged nature.

Mendocino seems to have more than its share of natural beauty— the county is expansive, with many diverse regions, ranging from the expansive coast to the warm interior valleys. Defined by soaring redwoods, flowing rivers, an expansive coastline and, of course, lush vineyards, this county will not disappoint.

If you want to make a part of Mendocino County your own, check out our great listings in the area:

Take some time out in Mendocino and be sure to check out the following vineyards and resources as you plan your visit.

Balo Winery and Estate—This ultra-premium winery is located in the in the heart of Anderson Valley—far enough from the city to experience quiet country charm, yet close to the comforts and modern conveniences of town to attract plenty of wine enthusiasts.

Yorkville Highlands Vineyards—These vineyards represent approximately 30% of the entire Yorkville Highlands Viticulture Area. The property is comprised of eight parcels and offers numerous estate-building sites with spectacular views.

Talmage Vineyards—103± acres of premium vineyards in Mendocino County. This property includes 2 homes, an irrigation pond, plus barns and staging area’s developed for amazing events.

Towns and Regions

Check out this guide from VisitMendocino.com to you wrap your head around the various parts of the county. Explore the website to find a ton of useful articles and event listings as well.

“Mendocino County is not so much a place as a state of mind. Spectacular scenery, a sense of isolation, an aesthetic sensibility, and a strong sense of community are the standout highlights of a trip to Mendocino County.” READ MORE


Appellations

This article is a good overview of the various appellations in Mendocino County. In it you will find descriptions of the AVA’s and which notable producers call them home.

“The overarching “Mendocino County” appellation is home to a total of eleven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

One of them is named, simply, “Mendocino AVA” which largely nests together six smaller AVAs that you may be familiar with (Anderson Valley, Yorkville Highlands, McDowell Valley, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, and America’s smallest AVA, Cole Ranch).

In addition, “Mendocino County” appellation also encompasses “Dos Rios” AVA, “Covelo” AVA, and “Mendocino Ridge” AVA.” READ MORE

 

This article from GuildSomm describes both the history of wine in Mendocino, as well as a detailed descriptions of the various AVA’s and their exceptional features.

Mendocino is a county with two faces. One face, the softer side, is well known. This is the coastal half that contains Anderson Valley, where delicate Pinot Noir and exceptional sparkling wines are enjoying increasing, and deserving, renown. The other face of Mendocino resides further east, in the cache of old vines that sprawl across the Redwood Valley appellation and surround the towns of Ukiah, Talmage, and Hopland. Here the vines have long labored without fanfare, their fruit blended into anonymity across county lines. But a growing number of vintners, both local and ex-county, are waking up to the remarkable quality contained within these venerable vineyards, and more attention is sure to follow. As exciting as the lacy creations of the coast may be, it’s time to turn our backs to the sea and our eyes toward the remarkably preserved historic legacy of inland Mendocino.” READ MORE

 

*map courtesy of mendowine.com

Wine Feature: Pinot Noir

Posted on June 26, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Our corner of Northern California is responsible for some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world. Pinot Noir grapes thrive in the low fertility soils and Mediterranean climates in several of our local AVAs, including Russian River Valley and Anderson Valley. Winemakers in the area use these world-class grapes to produce many outstanding wines including Pinot Noir, sparkling wines, white Pinot Noir, and Rosé.

About Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is usually a light red still wine. People unfamiliar with this varietal may expect the lighter color will mean less flavor, yet the full and complex flavors will leave them surprised. The flavor profile can shift as it ages — what starts out as tart red fruit mellows out over time. Pinot Noir can be paired with many different foods; it is light enough to be served with fish and can also highlight heartier food like grilled meat.

Russian River Valley AVA
The Russian River Valley is a highly sought after appellation for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. This AVA is made up of 15,000 planted acres situated in the geographical heart of Sonoma County. Located just 10 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, the weather is characterized by morning fog, warm days and pleasant evenings. The relatively cool weather encourages grapes to ripen slowly, establishing balanced acidity and a distinctive flavor profile.

Anderson Valley AVA
Pinot Noir thrives in the unique cool weather microclimates of Anderson Valley. A number of wineries in this region produce world-class sparkling and still wines; and several ultra-premium wine growers sell their sought-after grapes to winemakers in Napa, Sonoma and elsewhere in the USA.

While summer days are long and dry, with temperatures occasionally topping 85 degrees, a cooling fog rolls down the valley most evenings, slowing the vines’ metabolic activity. This daily Pacific Coast influence is responsible for a long growing season, which allows the grapes to ripen evenly and develop elegant flavors.

 

Check out two of our properties that will bring you to the heart of these premier Pinot Noir regions.

Wild Iris at Tumbling McD Ranch

 

Winner’s Circle Estate

Wild Iris Retreat Open House this Saturday 11-4pm

Posted on May 17, 2018 by michelle_magnus

 

Wild Iris Retreat in Anderson Valley 

OPEN HOUSE

Date: Saturday, May 19th
Time: 11Am – 5PM
20500 Tumbling MdD Road
Philo, CA 95466

Do you love Anderson Valley? Join us at our open house this Saturday, May 19th from 11am – 5pm at Wild Iris Retreat — just 11 miles away from the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival happening all weekend long! Stop by for gourmet snacks, jeep tours and an inside view into one of the most enchanting properties to hit the market this year. Wild Iris Retreat is an exquisite 300+ acre property bordering the Navarro river with plenty of sunshine and shaded groves of towering redwoods. Featuring a large main house, two guest houses, a 90K gallon pool, a beautiful stone spa, and a dance hall, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss!

 


Learn More About Wild Iris Retreat: CLICK HERE

 

 

 

21st Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival & Exclusive Property Tours at Wild Iris Retreat

Posted on May 15, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

Celebrating One Varietal – One Appellation

Anderson Valley is hosting a world-class wine festival featuring Pinot Noir from over 50 local producers. The Pinot Noir Festival is a weekend full of wine, live music, farm fresh gastronomes and local art.

WHEN: May 18-20, 2018
WHERECamp Navarro in Navarro, CA — 11 miles from Philo and 17 miles from Boonville in Mendocino County
WHAT: Three full days of Pinot Noir paired with delicious food, music & celebration.

Tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss your chance to savor world renowned Pinot Noirs and meet the winemakers!

– Attend the Grand Tasting on Saturday only — Purchase Tickets HERE
– Purchase Tickets for all 3 days HERE

To learn more details about all of the events, driving directions and participating wineries, check out the video below and view the event’s WEBSITE.

Do you love Anderson Valley? Pair the Pinot Festival with our upcoming open house this Saturday, May 19th from 11am – 5pm at Wild Iris Retreat — just 11 miles away! Stop by for gourmet snacks, jeep tours and an inside view into one of the most enchanting properties to hit the market this year. Wild Iris Retreat is an exquisite 300+ acre property bordering the Navarro river with plenty of sunshine and shaded groves of towering redwoods. Featuring a large main house, two guest houses, a 90K gallon pool, a beautiful stone spa, and a dance hall, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss!

Wild Iris Retreat Open House:
Saturday, May 19th
11Am – 5PM
20500 Tumbling MdD Road
Philo, CA 95466

Learn More About Wild Iris Retreat: CLICK HERE


*festival images by AV Wines