The Sketchbook wines proudly honors the wine-making heritage of Mendocino County. These limited bottlings seem to capture some of the free-spirited character of the locals themselves.
We could think of no better way to capture the character of Mendocino than through the eyes of sketchpad artists Bill Shields and Randy Grochoske.
Winemaking in Mendocino
Long ago, Italian immigrant farmers planted vineyards on Mendocino’s rocky hillsides. Taking root without the benefit of irrigation or trellising,
the vineyards yielded grapes of remarkable character and intensity. Trial and error led farmers to those grapes varietals that were best suited to their hillside microclimates.
Mendocino’s benchlands and hilltops produce high-quality grapes that differ in character from the same varietals in Napa and Sonoma.
The Sketchbook wines were crafted by selecting choice, low-yielding vineyards managed for flavor intensity. Careful processing in small lots nudges the grapes into complex wines with true varietal character.
Mendocino is home of giant redwoods and craggy bluffs overlooking the rugged Pacific coast. Deep canyons usher in the fog which nurtures the agricultural bounty of the inland valleys.
The mighty Russian River begins its headlong course to the Pacific from its headwaters in the northern interior valleys. A land of awesome natural beauty, just one mountain pass north of Sonoma Valley.
Here too, are free-thinking inhabitants, sons of immigrants, seafarers, and back-to-nature types who sought simple lifestyles far from the city. It’s the kind of place where 4-H
Club members rub shoulders with tree-huggers. Where artists and surfers cherish the wild shoreline. Where Victorian gingerbread coexists with structures carved from redwood trunks.