Last year we changed the label on this bottling by adding the Anderson Valley appellation to the larger Mendocino designation. We produced our first Mendocino Pinot Noir in 1994, which was a blend of Anderson Valley grapes with a larger percentage of inland Mendocino grapes requiring that the wine be labeled as Mendocino. Anderson Valley is now recognized as having one of California's best climates for growing world class Pinot Noir, but in 1994 there was only a smattering of Pinot grown in our tiny coastal valley. We began expanding Navarro's Pinot Noir vineyards in 1990, and by 2009, we were growing enough Pinot to improve wine quality in this bottling by replacing the less expensive Mendocino grapes with more flavorful Anderson Valley grapes. We assumed that the wine would sell even better with the more select appellation, so beginning with the 2010 vintage, we labeled the wine as Anderson Valley.
Visit Navarro and perhaps you'll spot a bald eagle or a flock of wild geese; these are some of the many creatures that visit our ponds on a regular basis. Our tasting room staff has a well-worn path to the ponds. We avoid spraying herbicides and chemical insecticides, creating a safe habitat for wildlife to nurture their family and for your family to visit.
Pressing Pinot after fermentation. “Like good wine, we better with age.” -Pope Francis
To be honest, the name change has caused some confusion with staff and customers, since now all three Navarro Pinots bear the same Anderson Valley appellation. In house, we still refer to this wine as Mendo Pinot, since habits of nineteen years are hard to break. Our other two more expensive Pinots have a red stamp saying Méthode à l'Ancienne or Deep End Blend on the label. You can still call this wine Mendo Pinot if you like, or tell the staff you want the one with the bargain price tag and no red stamp! Gold Medal winner.