Definition - What does Mendocino mean?
The winemaking region of Mendocino is located in the United States on the western coastline in the state of California. The geographic variety in Mendocino creates a complex, diverse climate that varies from Maritime and Mediterranean on the coast, cool and wet climates in the valleys and dry with warm temperatures on the east side of the mountains. The region produces a diverse lineup of wine including Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay (their most renowned varietal), Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Riesling, among many others.
WineFrog explains Mendocino
The county of Mendocino is one of the largest regions in the US, it contains ten AVAs (American Viticulture Regions) and spans 3,800 square miles. Due to its large size, there are many different climates that have their own specialties ranging from coastline vineyards to those deep in the valley and those on the other side of the mountain ranges away from oceanic influences. Mendocino is also home to the famous Redwood Forest with red soils, which are home to vineyards under the Redwood Valley AVA that make spicy, earthy Zinfandels. The Anderson Valley is home to Zinfandels and Mendocino Ridge (off the Pacific coastline), it makes great sparkling whites and Chardonnays; both have foggy, cool climates.
The Potter and McDowell Valleys have cool, wet climates and grow white grape varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. They have loam soils that change with the elevation, these regions are most like the Rhône Valley and create dry rosés as well. Compared to the other California growing regions, Mendocino has a shorter growing season and a lower heat index.