Russian River Wine

westside road, healdsburg

westside road, healdsburg

Wine has been growing in the Russian River area since the mid-19th century, when many former gold diggers turned to farming.

Our warm days, cool nights, and foggy evenings and mornings extend the growing season and produce award-winning wines of many varieties.

The Russian River Valley was declared an official American Viticultural Area in 1983. Its official boundaries include the Russian River Valley and Green Valley, as well as portions of Chalk Hilland Dry Creek Valley.

Other viticultural designations in the Russian River area, outside of the official appellation, include: Fort Ross-Seaview, Rockpile, Alexander Valley, and the Sonoma Coast.

alexander valley

best known for: Chardonnay, merlot, sauvignon blanc, syrah & viogier

The variety of micro climates in this northern region produce a unique variety of wines.

chalk hill

best known for: cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, Chardonnay, merlot, sauvignon blanc, syrah & zinfandel

Named for the volcanic ash in its soil, this sunny region produces the most diverse varieties of grapes.

dry creek valley

best known for: cabernet sauvignon, Chardonnay, merlot, sauvignon blanc, & zinfandel

This region is known for its cool mornings and evenings, and hot afternoons.

green valley

best known for: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & sauvignon blanc

This slightly cool region is also famous for its crisp apples, making it perfect for sauvignon blanc grapes.


best known for: cabernet sauvignon, syrah, petite syrah & zinfandel

The hardscrabble soil in this region, named for the convicts who graded the roads of the original ranch, produces intense red wines.

russian river valley

best known for: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

The coolest of the Russian River wine regions, the Sonoma Coast produces twice the rainfall of any other region but is still warm enough to produce amazing wines.

Sonoma Coast

best known for: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Morning river fog and sunny afternoons produce the region's fruitiest and most supple wines.

bud break

bud break

a year in the vineyards


bud break - flowering - cluster development

In early spring, the vine uses food stored in its roots from last season.

Once the buds break, it gets its energy from the sun.

Because most wine grape vines are self-pollinating, dry, still days are best for this delicate process.

The flowers are followed by clusters of tiny grapes known as buckshot berries.


veraison - ripening

Veraison is a French term for the point at which the grape clusters begin to soften and take on the color of their variety.

The vines now put all their energy into their fruit.

The cool, foggy climate makes for a long, slow ripening period for the grapes.





When the grapes are fully ripe, and sugar levels are where the grower wants them, harvest begins before dawn, while the vineyards are still cool.

harvest dawn

harvest dawn



The grape plants become dormant in the cold weather and growth stops. The vineyards are pruned and we wait for spring to begin the cycle all over again.

dormant vines

dormant vines