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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

Yorkville Highlands Appellation: A Hidden Gem in Mendocino County

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Admin

A Hidden Gem…


The Yorkville Highlands American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in Mendocino County along Highway 128, perfectly situated in the heart of Northern California’s world-renowned wine country. 
Northwest of the Yorkville Highlands lies the Anderson Valley AVA, famous for its Pinot Noir; and to the Southwest is Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley AVA, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.

Superior Red Wines


Comprised of 40,000 acres, the Yorkville Highlands AVA is known for its red varietals—a departure from the rest of Mendocino County, where Chardonnay reigns supreme. 
Over 20 different varietals are grown in the AVA, but the largest plantings are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.

Distinctive Micro-Climate


The vineyards of Yorkville Highlands are planted on bench land that ranges from 1,000 feet to 2,200 feet in elevation.
The higher elevation creates a unique micro-climate defined by night time cooling trends and a moderate climate. The moderate climate allows for an extended and even growing period.

Winter rainfall in the Yorkville Highlands can be quite high, with typical years averaging nearly 68 inches. Fortunately, there is rarely rain during the growing season.

Long Harvest Season & Complex Robust Flavors


The Yorkville Highlands AVA benefits from a long growing season.
Most years, grapes are harvested later than the surrounding AVAs.

The long ripening process yields fruit that has higher acidity and robust flavors, while still maintaining balance and structure. For red wines, the resulting flavor reveals complex tannins that are not overpowering.



Excellent Soils, Distinguished Fruit


The soils in the Highlands have superior drainage with a high gravel content. 
This distinctive soil type encourages the vines to root deeply. This, in turn, leads to hardy, low vigor plants. The vineyards of this region produce exceptional fruit with highly concentrated flavors.

 

We are thrilled to announce a rare opportunity to acquire 116± acres of premier vineyards in the heart of California’s wine country. LEARN MORE >>

 

Wild Iris Retreat Open House this Saturday 11-4pm

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Admin

 

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 Admin

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