Mendocino County has a long history of winemaking which dates back to the mid-1800s when the first Italian immigrants settled the green hillsides. Still today, the majority of the region’s 570 vineyards remain in the hands of family farmers, many of whom have lived for two or more generations on their land—some tracing their roots to the first settlers. The deeply rooted winegrowing community of farmers share a common passion for growing quality grapes, stewarding the land and producing outstanding wines.

Although Mendocino is one of the largest wine-producing counties in California, the area planted with winegrapes (17470 acres) represents only about 0.8% of the total County area. The diversity of the growing conditions leads to numerous winegrowing regions, each with a distinct personality, and twelve of these regions are approved American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Mendocino includes the world renown Anderson Valley AVA and the geographically unique Mendocino Ridge AVA, the only non-contiguous AVA in America. Red grapes represent the majority of the Mendocino grape acreage, the most widely planted are Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah but other common varietals are Petite Sirah, Carignane, Grenache, Sangiovese and Barbera. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the most popular white grapes followed by Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Pinot Gris. This wide array of grapes favors the production of a broad range of wine styles, including sparkling wines of exceptional quality.

Mendocino County Fact Sheet

Mendocino County AVA Fact Sheet

Mendocino County Wine Map

Mendocino AVA Map

For more general information about Mendocino County wine or photography, please contact MWI at

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