Dutton Goldfield Winery

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Here's the quick lowdown on Green Valley, the wine appellation at the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley growing area where most Dutton Ranch vineyards are located.

The Russian River AVA (American Viticultural Appellation) includes those areas through which the Russian River or its tributaries flow, and, very importantly, where the coastal fog has a pronounced climatic effect. Green Valley, located completely within Russian River Valley, is a recognized AVA in its own right. It's colder than the rest of the Russian River area due to the maritime air streaming in throughout the growing season. Both the Russian River to the north and the Petaluma Wind Gap to the south provide conduits of cold air into the Green Valley. The coastal hills lying along its western border help to moderate the strong gales sweeping in from the ocean.

What all this means is that the area experiences a very long ripening season due to the cool nights and early morning fog, followed by warm days. These conditions give the grapes the right balance at ripeness; permitting us to pick mature fruit with good sugar levels, ripe tannins and high acid. This is the kind of fruit we want at Dutton-Goldfield.

Very dense and complex, Pinot Noir wines from the Green Valley appellation exhibit blackberry, blueberry and violet-floral characteristics. The Pinots also have great aging potential with a balance of elegance and power. The Chards show bright tangerine and green apple flavors, with great richness and firm acids.

For more on Green Valley, visit www.greenvalley-russianriver.com.