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Alexander Valley is best known for the classic Bordeaux varietals which thrive in the unique soils and warm climate, with parts of the valley moderated by cooling ocean breezes and evening fog. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown here are marked by deep plum and blackberry flavors, with abundant, supple tannin structure. Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc is characterized by ripe melon and pear tones, highlighted by zesty lime peel notes. A testament to the amazing quality of the region, each of our single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon releases comes from small Alexander Valley vineyard sites: Alexander’s Crown, Rockaway and Brothers.
Well known as one of the finest cool-climate growing regions in California, the Russian River Valley has made its mark not only as a premiere Chardonnay region, but as one of the few wine regions in the world capable of producing world-class Pinot Noir. Here in the fog-laden vineyards, Chardonnay develops crisp apple and citrus character. Pinot Noir offers up generous cherry and spice tones, with luscious, sensuous texture and deep earthy character that are the hallmarks of this notoriously temperamental varietal.
Rodney Strong was the first to see the potential of the Chalk Hill area as an exceptional place for Chardonnay, and planted his first Chardonnay vines here back in 1965. The ocean fog and chalky-white volcanic soils combine to produce distinctive Chardonnays that offer crisp citrus and mineral tones supported by lush floral notes and a rich baked apple character. We have produced Chalk Hill labeled Chardonnay since 1977.
The Northern Sonoma appellation covers most of Sonoma County with the notable exceptions of the Los Carneros and Sonoma Valley AVAs which are located in the southern portion of the county. The second largest AVA within Sonoma County, almost every grape variety that can be grown in Sonoma County thrives in Northern Sonoma.
The Dry Creek Valley appellation, which is formed by a Dry Creek tributary of the Russian River, benefits from the close proximity of the Lake Sonoma reservoir for irrigation in this relatively dry area. At the turn of the 20th century, Dry Creek Valley was one of California’s most prominent producers of Zinfandel. During Prohibition, much of the valley was converted to plum, pear, and prune trees. Since the resurgence of wine grape production in the 1970s, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel have become the most planted varietals, and Dry Creek Valley AVA has become one of the state’s top Zinfandel producers.
The Sonoma Coast AVA extends from the San Pablo Bay to the south all the way up to the Mendocino County border. Compared to the larger Sonoma County region, the Sonoma Coast is characterized by cool climate and significantly higher rainfall – almost twice the annual rainfall of its inland neighbors. Many vineyards are above the fog line, where sun exposure is sufficient to fully ripen the fruit. Sonoma Coast is best known for its excellent cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Knights Valley is the easternmost appellation in Sonoma County, lying just north of Calistoga at the foot of Mount Saint Helena. Protected from the direct influence of the Pacific Ocean, Knights Valley is the warmest of Sonoma County’s viticultural areas. Bordeaux varietals thrive in the warm days and cool nights that Knights Valley is known for.