Yorkville Cellars rests in the middle of the Yorkville Highlands along Highway 128 in southern Mendocino County.
One hundred thirty years ago, the York family settled in the rolling hills of southern Mendocino County. They endured wet winters and sweltering hot summer days. They made their living raising sheep and farming a small plot of land, carefully respecting the balance of nature.
Today, Yorkville Cellars continues to uphold the wonder of this area by farming organically and respecting this beautiful land. In March 1998, the area was recognized for its uniqueness and given a special designation by the BATF: as "Yorkville Highlands." All bottles now proudly carry the Yorkville Highlands AVA designation on the label.
The Yorkville Highlands viticultural area lies generally along the headwaters of Dry Creek and Rancheria Creek. The vineyards in the Yorkville Highlands area are virtually entirely above 800 feet in elevation. The area is a continuous string of high benches and land troughs bordered by even higher ridges with Highway 128 running along the middle.
The soils in the Yorkville Highlands viticultural area are rocky hill soils characterized by gravel and old brittle rock. These generally thin soils found on the high benches and land troughs are in stark contrast to the generally very loamy clay soils found in the valleys and bottom lands dominating the neighboring approved viticultural areas. Soil types mapped by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service include: Bearwallow, Hellman, Cole Loam, Henneke, Montara, Hopland Loam, Squawrock, Witherell, Yorkville and Boontling. Only one of two of these soil types is found in common with a neighboring viticultural area.
Our climate is influenced by marine air well over half the time. Heat summation data collected within the area reflects an average of 3,060 degrees, compared to approximately 2,500 in Boonville and Philo to the northwest and 3,650 in Cloverdale. Average annual rainfall within the area is 50.6 inches compared to Anderson Valley, which receives an average of 40.7 inches.
There are 25 vineyards averaging 18 acreas each, all of them family-run. Just 1% of the land mass is planted to vineyard. The top varietals planted include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. A total of 83% of the varietals are red wine grapes.