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History of Mendocino County Wine

Man harvesting grapes for winemaking in Mendocino County

Mendocino County, with its picturesque landscapes and favorable microclimates, has a rich and varied winemaking history that dates back to the mid-1800s. The initial settlers, primarily Italian immigrants, were drawn to the region's rolling hills that reminded them of their homeland. These pioneers planted the early vineyards, laying the groundwork for what would become a thriving wine culture.

During the Gold Rush, many settlers shifted from mining to agriculture, including viticulture. These vineyards would become the bedrock of a wine industry that successfully navigated through the tumultuous era of Prohibition and emerged stronger in its wake. Post-Prohibition, the 1960s and 70s ushered in a focus on quality and artisanal winemaking, with families like the Bliss and Brutocao significantly shaping the wine identity with their commitment to excellence and sustainable practices.

Mendocino's wine character is deeply influenced by its diverse terrain. The cooler, fog-influenced Anderson Valley is ideal for cultivating delicate Pinot Noir and exceptional sparkling wines, while the warmer inland areas of Hopland and Ukiah Valley are perfect for robust Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. These regions benefit from a diurnal temperature range that is crucial for the balanced ripening of grapes.

Hopland has become known for its wine innovation and the cultivation of varied varietals, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Meanwhile, Ukiah Valley continues to underscore the legacy of Mendocino’s wine industry with its focus on sustainable and organic viticulture, resonating with the county’s commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Chef observing the winemaking process of Costa Vineyards Pinot Noir
Cucina Verona's Chef Joe observing the winemaking process of Costa Vineyards Pinot Noir

Within this rich tapestry of winemaking tradition and innovation, Costa Verona proudly presents our estate-grown Costa Vineyards Pinot Noir 2021 and Costa Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve 2021. Crafted in collaboration with the renowned winemaker Greg Graziano, our wines encapsulate the essence of Mendocino’s unique terroir. Our vineyard, nestled about 15 miles inland from Mendocino Village in the quaint town of Comptche, benefits from the ideal climatic conditions that enhance the flavor profile of our Pinot Noir.

We invite wine enthusiasts and curious palates alike to visit Cucina Verona and indulge in our latest vintages. Come sample a true product of Mendocino’s winemaking legacy and passion, a reflection of history in every sip! Click here to make a reservation.


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