Sketchbook Wines

Mendocino County, a land of oversize natural beauty, free-thinking individuals, and a long wine-growing tradition. Mendocino terroir and winemaking traditions show themselves in Sketchbook's balanced and complex wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon   Sketchbook Pinot Noir Pinot Noir
Made from exceptional fruit grown in the southern Ukiah Valley, this supple and elegant wine offers lush, dark berry flavors accented by cedar and chocolate.   This release boasts a marvelously complex nose of ripe black cherry and black raspberry fruit with complementary scents of sage, black tea, white pepper and vanilla.
> RECIPE (.doc)   > RECIPE (.pdf)

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 County
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.

The Story

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.

Sketchpads close at hand, they plied the back roads, roamed with the tourists, ate with the locals, observed harvest time and ocean fishing, strolled through harbors and small towns, and recorded the striking beauty and simple charms of Mendocino.


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