Why have so many elite Napa and Sonoma Pinot Noir producersWilliams Selyem, Copain and Adrian Fog, to name just a fewbegun buying grapes from the vineyards of Mendocino, California's obscure Anderson Valley? In fact, interest from outsiders has inspired growers to plant Pinot at a furious rate. In just the past 10 years, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir acreage has more than tripled: from 350 acres to about 1,200.
To be sure, this valley of towering redwoods is still scenic and slow-paced. But the movement among winemakers has been practically frenetic as more and more realize that the Anderson Valley may be one of the best places in California to grow Pinot Noir.
Anderson History The first recognition of Anderson Valley's potential came from France, when Champagne Louis Roederer debuted its Roederer Estate sparkling wine in 1988. A blend of Anderson Valley Pinot and Chardonnay, the Estate is still one of California's most refined and consistent sparklers. Other outsiders making a serious investment in Anderson Valley include Napa's Duckhorn Wine Company, which founded Goldeneye Winery in the heart of the valley in 1996. Goldeneye's first Pinot Noir, the 2000, showed what the area was capable of, and ever since that time, the 16-mile-long valley has been prospected like a gold mine, with its best vineyardsFerrington, Savoy, Heinearning recognition on more and more high-end labels.