It grows from mostly dry-farmed, low-yield vineyards, tended according to an exacting organic process. From these grapes arise the dependable Zin flavors of plum, blackberry jam and spicy black pepper. Our winemaking approach is minimal because the fruit of these vineyards yields grapes that make wines of exceptional character.
Suggested pairings include grilled meat with blackberry sage sauce, BBQ ribs, spaghetti with meat balls in spicy marinara, grilled tuna with black pepper rub and bittersweet chocolate raspberry torte.
Bonterra wines are a natural expression of the unique climate and soil of the Mendocino coast. The name "Bonterra" means good earth. All of their wines are nurtured from organically grown grapes. Bonterra relishes the re-discovery of age-old traditions of viticulture, working in harmony with Nature, to create wines with pure, concentrated flavors.
THE BONTERRA PHILOSOPHY
We honor the land by farming organically, creating rich soils that provide
healthy vines the opportunity to deliver wonderfully flavorful fruit. With
every sip of Bonterra wine, you can taste our natural commitment. There's no other way to fully capture the expression of our Mendocino terroir.
David Koball, Vineyard Manager
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Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Mendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.