Anderson Valley is a renowned producer of world class Pinot Noir and is also known to produce fine Alsace-style varietal wines. The characteristics of the Anderson Valley’s four most widely planted varietals are as follows:
Recognized as one of the outstanding red wine grapes, Pinot Noir is well adapted to Anderson Valley. For sparkling wine production, the characteristic small tight clusters are picked early at lower sugar levels. Left to mature further, the grapes are harvested to make what are known as some of the best Pinot Noirs from California. Made in a variety of styles, AV Pinot Noirs exhibit fruit in the mouth as well as in the aroma.
An Alsace-style varietal grown for several centuries in Germany, Gewürztraminer also grows well in Anderson Valley. As suggested by the name, Gewürztraminers from the valley possess pronounced spicy, aromatic flavors. Grown in this cool area, the acids remain at a level which allows the production of still wines with a nice balance. Because it ripens early, there are many years when the grapes are left to hang until they reach high sugar content. This fruit is used to produce sweet “late harvest” dessert wines.
Perfectly adapted to the cool growing conditions, Anderson Valley Chardonnay produces wines of distinctive character. As with Pinot Noir, much of the Chardonnay is harvested at low sugars and directed towards sparkling wine production. The remainder is made into rich full-bodied table wines with a hint of ripe apples.
The wines produced from Anderson Valley White Riesling display flowery aromas and exhibit a nice balance between freshness and fruit. An excellent varietal for our cool coastal area, Anderson Valley White Riesling has consistently made outstanding table wines and excellent “late harvest” and cluster selected dessert wines. These dessert wines are made from grapes infected with the noble rot Botrytis cinerea. The resulting wines have a honey sweet richness buffered with the acidity naturally present in the grapes.