Russian River Valley
The Russian River Valley is named for its eponymous and famed tributary, which meanders through miles of gravel-laden benchland vineyards. The region also features a wide range of geological contours, from low-lying ridges to rolling hillsides, all brought together by the daily fog intrusion that keeps the warmth of the famously sunny days balanced, as Chardonnay ripens into a rare combination of richness and power — the unmistakable stamp of the Russian River.
The largest of the North Coast AVA’s, the Sonoma Coast nevertheless has a wide range of soils — more than all of France combined. The many hillsides, twisting valleys and ridges confer a level of intimacy to the Chardonnay sub-regions; elevated sites on Sonoma Mountain and the Mayacamas are firm, savory examples while the gravel benches of the Russian River confer richness and power alike. The outlier is the “extreme Sonoma Coast,” which lies to the far west off the county. This area possesses famed Goldridge soils, more rainfall than the interior of Sonoma which promotes Chardonnays with extraordinary firm, ageworthy qualities.