Alex Macgregor confronts some mid-century Carignan vines, Lolonis Vineyard.
Despite the fact that Mendocino county borders Sonoma County, it maintains an identity all its own. Mendo’s “green” credentials are unsurpassed by any other wine region in the world. The majority of the region's 18,800 planted acres remain in the hands of family farmers, many of whom have lived for two or more generations on their land. A number of these growers can trace their roots to the first settlers (mostly Italian immigrants) in the 1850s. The entire farming community has a rare appreciation for the relationship between earth and man. These farmers—grape growers and winemakers among them—were at the forefront of the sustainable, organic, Demeter certified Biodynamic, and Fish Friendly farming movement long before it gained the attention of the general population.
Mendocino County vineyards account for 0.8% of the land use in the county. There are abundant pear and apple orchards, and several hundred acres of organic vegetables and flowers. Total acreage of cannabis: unknown. The biodiversity of this county leads to numerous winegrowing regions, each with a distinct personality. We produce wine in the following four AVAs:
Perhaps the most recognizable Mendocino AVA, this forested, ocean-cooled valley was long the province of apples and sparkling wine. Today it is home to some of California’s finest Pinot Noirs. A full 95% of all vineyards are planted to Pinot. LIOCO wines produced here: Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay, Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir, La Selva Pinot Noir.
The heart of the region’s Italian heritage. Some of the oldest winegrowing families in California are holding it down here including our friends at Lolonis Vineyard. LIOCO wines produced here: Indica Mendocino Red, Lolonis Vineyard Valdiguie (Fall 2016), Lolonis Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Fall 2016).
A sweep of fertile, clay-based benches and flatlands that play home to vineyards, fruit orchards, and thousands of acres of oak forest. LIOCO wines produced here: Indica Rosé of Carignan.
Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak
Mendocino’s newest AVA located along the high ridges above Cloverdale. Some of the highest elevation vineyard sites in California are found here, as well as some of the state’s oldest Carignan vines. LIOCO wines produced here: Sativa Mendocino Carignan.