05/13/08 – Anderson Valley

By Jesse on May 11, 2008


It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good old fashioned “pick a California region and suck it dry” meeting. In that spirit, this week we venture into one of the state’s smallest and most celebrated AVAs, the tiny and picturesque valley known as Anderson.

Anderson Valley (or “our home,” as the locals call it) is a cute little coastal-adjacent sliver of greater Mendocino County, and one of the state’s premier regions for cool-climate grapes — these include Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir (read more about Anderson Valley’s other varietals on this website). Additionally, Anderson is known as one of California’s top spots for delicious sparkling wines. In 1982, the venerable Champagne house Louis Roederer was looking to expand into North America; after an exhaustive search, Anderson Valley was selected as the ideal region, as its climate was similar enough to Champagne’s to suggest that the sparkling wines produced therefrom might be really tasty. Today, Roederer is only one of several wineries producing top sparkling wines from the region.

Please bring to this meeting any wine with “Anderson Valley” on the label. As mentioned above, these will include delicious Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sparkling wine, and more. Here’s the Appellations America entry about the region, which may help you in your search, and here’s an article about the Alsatian varietals (Riesling, Gewurztraminer, etc.) being grown there these days. As always, feel free to bring an awesome $10 donation to help the Young Winos remain economically viable.

The specs:

This week we once again return to the Winos’ ancestral homeland in Sherman Oaks. The RSVP situation is as follows: new members have eight spots reserved for them at each and every meeting, with preference within those spots given to newbies who were denied admittance due to space constraints in recent weeks. Please do not RSVP in the positive if you’re not sure you can make it, as this will deny someone else the opportunity of attending the meeting. If you do RSVP and then need to cancel, please inform me as soon as possible.

Go forth and seek out some remarkable and distinctive Anderson Valley wine — or simply play it safe and bring a crisp $10 bill. We’ll see you on Tuesday at 9pm.