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About the Russian River Valley

The Russian River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in the heart of Sonoma County, California, fifty-five miles north of San Francisco. The seasonal fog and the temperate effects of the Pacific Ocean, less than 25 miles to the west, helps create ideal growing conditions for some of the world’s most highly regarded grapes, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With over 15,000 acres planted to grapevines, there is a beautiful selection and range of wines which come from the Russian River Valley, but in particular it is Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays which are renowned the world over.

Pinot Noir

A difficult grape to grow, this native of the Burgundy region of France achieves greatness in only a handful of places worldwide, and the Russian River Valley is one of them! Fickle and often elusive, Pinot Noir when elevated to its best expression of terroir becomes something extraordinary. Our Pinot-perfect climate combined with an amazing complexity of soil types, results in wines that reflect their individual sites but share a common thread. Aromas tend to be bright, focused fruit, ranging from wild strawberries and raspberries to red and black cherries. Notes of cola and baking spices are common. In the mouth they are rich and velvety, with their high degree of ripeness and balanced bright acidity.


“The Queen of White Wines,” Chardonnay is known for the Old World style of Chablis and the Cotes d'Or of Burgundy and the New World style reflected in the wines from the amazing growing areas of California. Russian River Valley Chardonnay tends to split the difference. The wines showcase lots of ripe, full fruit including pear, apple, peach and nectarine… often with overtones of citris, butterscotch and pineapple. In the mouth they are rich and satisfying, with the flavors echoing the aromas, and just enough bright acidity to keep them focused.

Pinot Grigio

Although a relative newcomer to the Russian River Valley, this white wine cousin of Pinot Noir is ideally suited to our climate. Russian River Valley produces Pinot Grigio more like the rich wines of the Alsace region of France than the Pinot Grigios of Italy. Aromas of ripe apple and pear with slight floral notes are typical. In the mouth it will show little if any oak influence. Light to medium bodied with delicious flavors.

Source: Russian River Valley Winegrowers