Wine has been made in this area for around one-hundred-and-fifty years with the first vines planted by Italian and Greek immigrants in the latter half of the nineteenth century. However, winemaking on a larger scale didn’t begin to take hold until a hundred or so years later, with significant and continual growth occurring since the 1970s. Today, Redwood Valley is home to some of Mendocino’s oldest vineyards and some of its newest wineries, many of which champion organic agriculture in their viticultural practices.
Elevation is a key feature of Redwood Valley’s unique wine-growing terroir. Around eight-hundred metres above sea level and roughly sixty metres higher than neighbouring appellations, this AVA - like many in the state of California - experiences significant diurnal temperature variation, and the subsequent benefit of characterful, well-balanced fruit. Intense daytime sunshine, is replaced by cool Pacific air that creeps into the valley at night, thus extending the ripening process.
The appellation’s distinctive red soils are another unique aspect of its terroir. Thin, rocky and rich in iron, these soils are perfect for the production of premium wine grapes. Low yields of small, concentrated grapes are subsequently used to produce intense, complex wines that age elegantly.
As well as the previously mentioned grapes, Redwood Valley wineries also produce red varietals from Pinot Noir, Barbera and Merlot, as well as whites from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.