Led by Christopher and Kristine, the vineyard selection was anything but happenstance. They sought and discovered a piece of land reminiscent of the warm Barossa Valley of the land down under. Here, the perfect union of climate, soil, and geography permit the infusion of the best of Alexander Valley with Australian vitality and heritage of winemaking.
On the heels of the success of their Alexander Valley site, the family added an extraordinary piece of land in Mendocino's Yorkville Highlands. In 2001, under the guidance of a new Aussie winemaker for both estates, Michael Scholz, they released their first Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc. In the next few years the vineyard promises to produce fruit for a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz as well.
This was the inception of Wattle Creek, an American winery that derives its logo and name from the yellow blossom of the Australian Wattle tree and its essence and style from Australia. View all Wattle Creek Wines
About North CoastView a map of North Coast wineries
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.
Notable FactsMendocino 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.
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.