Navarro Vineyards

Award Winning Wines from the Anderson Valley

In the southwestern corner of Mendocino County, the Anderson Valley is pastoral and remote, a woodland and agricultural landscape that features farms and vineyards but few fancy restaurants or tasting rooms. Yet it is home to some of California’s top vineyards for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as Riesling and Gewürtztraminer. The cool climate is a key feature of the region. The ocean fog that blows in regularly through the gap at the “deep end” of the valley blesses the vineyards with a long growing season. Grapes ripen slowly over the cool summer but often get an extra boost of ripeness in the warmth of early autumn.

Although wine production in the Anderson Valley was significant in the early 1900s, the old vineyards were long gone when Ted Bennet and Deborah Cahn purchased their 900-acre sheep near Philo in 1973. Lovers of Alsatian wines, they first planted Gewürtztraminer and Riesling before recognizing the potential their land would have for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today, with the second generation of the family firmly involved in all aspects of the operation, Navarro Vineyards produces wine from the third-largest Pinot Noir holdings in the valley. Yet Navarro is hardly a specialist producer. By sourcing grapes from their estate as well as from growers throughout the Anderson Valley and other Mendocino AVAs, they produce a wide spectrum of varietal wines, including Zinfandel, Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Pinot Gris and more.

From the start, the team at Navarro has been dedicated to the art and science of viticulture and winemaking. Years of experimentation with grape varieties, clones, rootstocks, trellising, tanks, barrels and temperature control have helped them learn how to craft excellent wines from their Anderson Valley and Mendocino County vineyards. The vineyards are farmed sustainably, and meticulous management ensures that, at harvest, grapes enter the winery in such fine condition that they can be fermented on their native yeasts and with no or very low SO2 required. Navarro wines please with intense fruit aroma and flavor, refreshing acidity and great length and depth; as one reviewer has written: “consistently awesome.”

Wine Maker

Jim Klein