The Role of Mendocino Ridge Soil on Wine
The Effect of Mendocino Ridge Soil & Terrain on Wine Grape Growing
The precise characteristics of this soil type vary throughout the region, but they are generally loamy and well-drained. These soils are the natural habitat for Douglas Fir, Redwood, Tanoak and Pacific Madrone.
Elevation is the primary criteria for being included in the AVA (vineyards must be over 1200 feet). Cold Spring Mountain is the highest point of the AVA at 2736 feet. All of the current vineyards are planted in between 1400 and 2400 feet above sea level. Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon thrive in these sunny hillside soils.
The viticultural area covers 87,466 acres, but only 75 are planted with vineyards. This reflects the fact that much of the viticultural area is too steep and isolated to develop. The grade of steepest ridges can be greater than 70%. Because of its extremely limited vineyards, wines from the region can be very difficult to find.
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