Russian River Valley AVA Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Recognizing four decades of accomplished winemaking, attentive agriculture, and its members’ unwavering commitment to outstanding wines, Russian River Valley Winegrowers marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary Russian River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) this year. Visitors and guests will have access to special events and offers, including the new “Decades of the Russian River Valley” self-guided tour, which gives fans the chance to explore wineries representing the vibrant history of the area.
“This milestone is a testament to the hard work and foresight of early vintners, the families and neighbors who have supported and challenged each other, and the friendships forged over the pursuit of excellence,” said Jesslyn Jackson, Executive Director, Russian River Valley Winegrowers (RRVW). “Every vineyard and winery in the Russian River Valley tells a story – and we’re only getting started.”
Officially named an AVA in 1983, the cool-climate region today encompasses 165,000 acres of premium vineyards, and is home to a thriving community of farmers and winemakers who are stewards of the land and who continuously strive to protect the future of the distinctive area. Long before its official AVA status, the Russian River Valley had a rich viticultural history, and records of winegrowing date back more than 150 years.
With its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which sends breezes and fog to cool the vineyards, and a long growing season, the area is especially suited for Pinot Noir. By the 1970s notable winemakers and growers were making a mark with their expressive wines. Since then, generations of innovators have built a legacy of producing distinctive wines of quality, authenticity, and integrity.
“Like many fellow growers, we have been farming here for decades. Our family vineyard is marking our 40th harvest and we now have the third generation living on and nurturing this land. We have great respect for the vision of and perseverance of the area’s pioneers,” said Chris Crispo of Bush Crispo Vineyards. “We’re at an exciting time with established names and newcomers alike combining new ideas with the best of classic techniques with the shared goals of quality and sustainability. Wines from the Russian River Valley are among the best in the world, and we continue working hard to build on this reputation for years to come.”
Russian River Valley Winegrowers Invites Aficionados to Sip Through the Decades This Spring
Spring is an enchanting time to visit the region, and travelers are invited to embark on the self-guided “Decades of the Russian River Valley” tour through June 30, 2023. The experience offers a chance to sip through the history of the area, featuring wineries founded in each decade. Every stop will highlight diverse wine styles, esteemed vineyard sourcing and unique personalities.
Select participating wineries include:
Pioneering Wineries (pre-1980s)
• Rodney Strong Vineyards - founded 1959
• Sonoma-Cutrer - founded 1973
• Landmark Vineyards and Winery - founded 1974
• La Crema - founded 1979
• Williams Selyem - founded 1981
• Taft Street - founded 1982
• Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery - founded 1983
• Martinelli Winery and Vineyards - founded 1986
• Siduri Wines - founded 1994
• Ramey Wine Cellars - founded 1996
• Viszlay Vineyards - founded 1997
• Emeritus Vineyards - founded 1999
• Square Peg - founded 1999
• Merriam Vineyards - founded 2000
• Balletto Vineyards - founded 2001
• Cartograph - founded 2008
• DRNK - founded 2012
• Char Vale Vineyards and Winery - founded 2014
• Bricoleur Vineyards - founded 2017
Complete details are available HERE with new offers added throughout the season.
In addition, RRVW will be the presenting partner of Pinot Forum, an immersive bootcamp for the trade, as well as a sponsor of Out in the Vineyard’s Gay Wine Weekend, to be held in Sonoma County in July.