Gold Rush immigrants first planted winegrapes in Mendocino
County’s inland valleys in the 1850s.
Today, the county still has predominantly family-owned wineries, 60 percent of which are small estates producing fewer than 5,000 cases annually.
Mendocino wineries and vineyards are thriving, and are well regarded for producing wines of high quality. The principal varietals are Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah and Syrah.
There are 10 federally-approved American Viticultural Areas – grapegrowing areas distinguishable by geographic, climatic and historic features – in Mendocino County. They are Anderson Valley, Cole Ranch, Covelo, Dos Rios, McDowell Valley, Mendocino, Mendocino Ridge, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley and Yorkville Highlands. The county also is part of the larger North Coast AVA.
The pioneer spirit of Mendocino’s wine industry is once again evident in the region’s dedication to environmental stewardship. Mendocino is a leader in certified organic vineyards with 2,800 of its total 17,000 vineyard acres so certified. The county also is home to the first carbon-neutral winery in the U.S.
From Ukiah to Fort Bragg, Mendocino County offers a variety of activities. The seaside village of Mendocino is a thriving artist community with galleries, live theater and critically acclaimed restaurants. Visitors can board a boat to watch the whales migrate, or ride the Skunk Train for a tour of the redwoods. Adventure lovers can enjoy kayaking, canoeing and hiking along the dramatic coastal cliffs.
And for wine lovers, 59 tasting rooms welcome visitors year-round.