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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 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.

Pearl Jam & Pinot Noir

Posted on July 31, 2018 by Admin

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Wire Images/Getty Images

Well before it was considered rock ‘n’ roll to own a wine collection, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder proudly popped and partook of Pinot right there on stageduring concerts. And in the years since the band’s breakout 1991 album Ten, the Seattle area has become as famous for its winemaking scene as its grunge scene. No surprise then that the band has tuned up a new charity label with winemakers in Woodinville, Washington’s eno-punk Warehouse District to celebrate next month’s Home x Away concerts and raise money for the Vitalogy Foundation, Pearl Jam’s Seattle homelessness awareness and relief charity.

The Home x Away limited-edition box set of reds is a release from the Underground Wine Project, a collaboration between Washington winemakers Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery and Trey Busch of Slight of Hand Cellars; each bottle of the Idle Hands Syrah/Cabernet cuvée sports a label design by Pearl Jam depicting a retro-futuristic skyline silhouette of one of the four cities along the Home x Away tour kicking off next month, including Seattle, where the Aug. 8 and 10 “Home Shows” mark the band’s homecoming after five years since last playing Jet City—and, reportedly, the biggest concert series the city has seen in more than three decades.

“We have been longtime fans,” McNeilly told Unfiltered of the project. “Trey and I have met [Pearl Jam] band members over the years at different things, and we have worked with them a little bit with some of their charities, but it’s just fun to be pulled in a little bit closer for a great cause. I think that if we can work with Pearl Jam and find some new arenas to talk about philanthropy and talk about people’s responsibilities toward charity, you can kind of open people’s eyes and let them know everybody has a responsibility to help everybody else.”

All the proceeds of the 450 cases sold went to the Vitalogy Foundation. That’s right, the new wine, alas, has already sold out—within 15 minutes of the band announcing the project via its email newsletter. But for the homers in the Seattle area, 10 of chef Ethan Stowell’s restaurants that snapped up some of the wine will be selling it by the glass, with further proceeds going to charity, starting Aug. 1, in the lead-up to the Seattle gigs. Pearl Jam’s partnership with the Underground Wine Project is one of many surrounding the Home Shows with a goal of raising $960,000, with each donation made to the Vitalogy Foundation to be matched by the band.

–story courtesy of Wine Spectator

BALO: INCREDIBLE WINE TASTING AND GREAT FOR BOCCE

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Admin

Article courtesy of SF Chronicle:

We are thrilled to see our listing, Balo Winery & Estate, featured in the SF Chronicle.

Balo could be a quick stop on your Anderson Valley itinerary, if you’re in a rush: Tastings are free, and are usually limited to about four wines. On the other hand, if you want to linger, Balo could be your entire afternoon. You could buy a bottle, order a plate of charcuterie and cheese and relax on one of the outdoor picnic tables, followed by a game of bocce.

The winery was founded in 2009, though vines had been planted here about 10 years earlier. Jason Drew, one of Mendocino County’s top winemakers, made the first five vintages of Balo wines. The winemaking remains solid focusing on Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines. If you’re feeling peckish but don’t want to order an entire block of cheese or roll of cured meat from Balo’s deli menu, don’t fret: Complimentary cheese and salami are always laid out at the tasting bar.


WHAT TO TRY: Balo does produce a rosé of Pinot Noir ($24), but more interesting is its blanc de noir-style Pinot ($32), a red wine presenting as a white. The grapes are taken off of their skin almost immediately after picking, so that they absorb almost no color. It’s a floral, fresh, bright wine, a nice alternative to a rosé. You’ll likely also taste a couple vintages of Pinot Noir ($38 to $45), which are balanced, quiet examples of the grape.

View the Balo Winery and Estate Listing: CLICK HERE

 

Keefer Ranch: Highly Acclaimed Vineyard is on the Market for the First Time

Posted on July 11, 2018 by Admin

KEEFER RANCH

Highly Acclaimed Vineyard in Russian River AVA Sub-Appellation
24.92± Acres on 2 Parcels: 13.47± Acres Planted in Vineyard with a Spacious Estate Home

We are thrilled to announce that this highly acclaimed vineyard is on the market for the first time. This is a rare opportunity to acquire this well respected, top performing vineyard in Green Valley Sub-Appellation of the Russian River AVA in Sebastopol. Famous for its high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, the Keefer Ranch vineyard is a top-producing, mature, professionally managed operation with fruit going into key designated wine programs. This offering includes 2 parcels, one of which can be lot-line adjusted for resale of the home only, which is 4149+/- sqft. with 3Bed/2.5Bath and includes frontage to Green Valley Creek. There is a creek-side apple orchard included in the sale.

Property Details:

Parcels: Keefer Ranch includes two, contiguous legal parcels of APN 105-050-027 of 17.77± acres and APN 104-050-029 of 7.15± acres
Acreage: 24.92± acres
Vineyards: 13.47± net acres of vineyard (76% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay), and 11.45± acres of site and support land including the estate home area, riparian area along Green Valley Creek, property access and vineyard service roads, an irrigation reservoir, and a small apple orchard along the creek.
Residence: The larger westerly parcel includes the 4,149± SF Estate home, with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths
Additional Buildings: 3-car garage, plus several support structures (pump houses, equipment and general storage buildings)

VIEW THE LISTING: CLICK HERE

New Listing! Winner’s Circle Estate & Vineyard

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Admin

Spectacular Estate Home with Winery & Hospitality Potential


Asking price:
$12,950,000
Acreage: 60± Acres
Vineyard: Organic vineyards featuring 19.1± acres of Pinot Noir and 5.5± acres of Chardonnay recently planted to highest standards.

Winner’s Circle is a premier estate in the heart of the Russian River Valley. This 7,500± sq. ft. luxury home in Sebastopol embodies California contemporary design, and features panoramic mountain and valley views from every window.  A guest house, caretaker’s unit, and barn add value and interest to the property. Featuring 24.6± acres of organic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards plus a potential rental income through Inspirato, this is an incredible opportunity for the luxury home buyer and/or vineyard investor. 

The Main Residence was designed by architects Gerald C. Taylor of San Francisco and Val Arnold of Beverly Hills for the Walter family. Constructed in 1991 and renovated in 2013, the 7500± sq. ft. home has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a large gourmet kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and expansive common areas. Floor to ceiling glass doors in every room open onto extensive patios. A heated pool and spa invite you outdoors to enjoy the beautiful Russian River weather. 

Winner’s Circle is located just one hour North of San Francisco in the heart of West Sonoma County Wine Country. Situated between  Healdsburg and Sebastopol,  the area offers great dining, shopping & a welcoming community. This part of the Russian River Valley has long been established as a premier region for producing exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many award-winning wineries are minutes away from this iconic location.

People move to Sonoma County from all around the world to enjoy the beautiful, mild climate. Located just 10 miles away (as the crow flies) from the Pacific Ocean, the weather is characterized by morning fog, warm days and pleasant evenings. The warm, dry summers and temperate winters encourage outdoor pursuits and allow farmers to grow amazing produce year-round. There are endless opportunities to explore premier Sonoma and Napa wineries and restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts are blessed with 50+ regional and state parks that showcase coastal tide pools, old-growth redwoods and mountain views.

Located on Vine Hill Ridge in the Russian River American Viticultural Area (AVA), Winner’s circle located in the heart of West Sonoma County. Situated in between Healdsburg and Sebastopol, the AVA features the best known and most loved varietals. Home to the top Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and old vine Zinfandels, this cool climate grape region supplies world renowned wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, creating award winning wines that are some of the world’s best. 

The Russian River AVA has raised the standard for California grape production and winemaking.  The relatively cool summer encourages the grapes to ripen slowly, establishing balanced acidity.  This slow, prolonged ripening period creates the delicious flavors distinctive to this region. The soils offer perfect drainage and ideal conditions for growing grapes.  

Additional Property Features:

The guest house shares the entry courtyard with the main residence.  The unit is accessible from the main residence via a  short covered walkway.  The generous one bedroom boasts stunning views and an open floor plan. 

  • 900± sq. ft.
  • Located adjacent to the main house – just a short walk down a covered sidewalk connecting the two buildings.
  • 1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom
  • Living room with queen-size pullout sleeper sofa
  • Kitchen
  • Garage/Storage

Located on the smaller of the two parcels, the caretaker’s unit has two bedrooms and one bathroom.  A horse barn featuring six stables and an open interior also shares this second parcel.  The barn currently houses the irigation equipment for the vineyards. Situated adjacent to the barn is an equine aqua-tred.  This beautiful rustic building was originally built for the first-class thoroughbred ranch that was established here by the original owners, Barbara and Robert Walters.  The Walter’s best known gelding,1996 Kentucky Derby Runner-up Cavonnier, was foaled here at Winner’s Circle in1993. 

  • 35± Acres of oak woodlands 
  • Caretaker’s unit (2Bed/1Bath)
  • Barn with seven stables and irrigation pump room
  • Pump House
  • Horse Aqua Tread

Winery and Hospitality Potential

  • 2 Parcels: 55-acre parcel zoned DA D6-40; 6 acres zoned RA D6-10
  • Potential for main residence conversion to hospitality/wine-tasting/guest facility
  • Potential Winery/Tasting Room site

For more information, contact Mark at 707.322.2000 or Jeannie at 707.480.1541.