Whether you are from out of state or just from the area, we highly recommend avoiding the traffic and checking out the coastal and twisty drive on Highway 128. First you will leave Highway 101 just past Cloverdale and start your adventure towards the Yorkville Highlands AVA. The Yorkville Highlands AVA was approved in 1998 starting five miles west of Cloverdale.
The main distinguishing factor of the AVA is its elevation, rolling hills and various vegetation and climate. The result of which is that all 24 current vineyards are planted between 850 and 2,500 ft. and benefit from high diurnal temperature ranges and the mélange of soils including gravel and old brittle rock found in benchlands.
The Yorkville Highlands appellation consists of approximately 40,000 acres straddling Highway 128 between the Alexander Valley to the southeast and the Anderson Valley to the northwest. Its largest plantings are in order: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. The Yorkville Highlands AVA is at the headwaters of two watersheds: the Russian River and the Navarro River.
There are only about 50 appellation-designated artisan wines that are produced annually from Yorkville Highlands grapes; each made in very limited quantities.
As you pass through Yorkville Highlands AVA you will soon make your way into Anderson Valley. Here Anderson Valley is known primarily for its Pinot noir and sparkling wine production. Located about ten to fifteen miles from the Pacific Ocean, the AVA is prone to wide diurnal temperature variation of between 40 to 50 °F. The valley frequently has long Indian summers with cool nights. Anderson Valley is also home to the brewery Anderson Valley Brewing which makes for a great break from wine tasting or cool your day off with a cold local craft beer.