The Cole Ranch AVA has the distinction of being North America’s smallest appellation. This isolated viticultural area of less than one quarter square mile sits between the Russian River and Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Here a mere sixty acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling vines are found tucked into the high hills ranging from 1,400-1,600 feet in elevation. There are no resident wineries within the appellation itself, but the quality of Cole Ranch fruit has seen the trucks of several highly-regarded wineries making their way up to the remote little valley to purchase grapes and make wines with the Cole Ranch AVA designation. Today, the Sterling family, proprietors of the Esterlina Winery -- located at the western end of Anderson Valley -- owns the entire vineyard acreage of the appellation. Esterlina transports its Cole Ranch fruit down the road to be processed at their winery in Philo.
Appellation America has entered its second decade on the web. Much has changed since the start, but the core focus remains characterizing the unique flavor profiles of North America’s appellations and the natural influences and human cultural forces which influence them.
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