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Appellation: a geographical name (as of a region, village, or vineyard) under which a winegrower is authorized to identify and market wine (Merriam Webster)

There are myriad terms used throughout the world of wine, but few as important or as telling as the word “appellation”. And if you haven’t been paying attention to this critical descriptor yet, now is the time. If you’re not sure why, just ask Charlie. “60 years ago appellations weren’t even being discussed. A winery could bottle a North Coast wine with grapes that didn’t even come from the North Coast!”

But like most evolving markets, the need for further definition and differentiation within the wine world was realized. Today, consumers can find wines from over 306 distinct, recognized wine growing regions in North America (according to And for BARRA of Mendocino, we believe the Mendocino Appellation is what sets us apart.

Our unique location at the bench lands of the headwaters of the Russian River in Northern California provides us with hot summer days (averaging 90 degrees in the summer) and cool nights (sometimes dipping 30 degrees lower), resulting in what we call a long “hang time”. This long hang time allows our fruits to reach full maturity in a consistent, un-rushed fashion, resulting in wines that produce a stellar “mouth-feel”. Mendocino County wines, known for their fruit-forward nature, are still some of the best undiscovered wines available on the market today.

And when it comes to organic certification, the Mendocino AVA leads the pack. Close to 25% of the vineyards in Mendocino County are certified, or in the process of receiving certification.