The apple trees are one clue. Blueberries and tangled thickets of blackberries and raspberries – and the densely-fruited jams, jellies and preserves they produce – are the other. Both reference a climate that is cool enough to bring out the most fully matured fruit flavors that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can mount.
Tucked away on the edge of Sebastopol – once the world’s home to the Gravenstein apple – Green Valley / Russian River Valley offers an admixture of redwood forests, llama and Christmas tree farms, ornamental flower nurseries (even normally fragile orchids thrive here), Luther Burbank’s famed Gold Ridge Farm, old style Italian restaurants and wine grapes with distinctive “cold climate” identities. Also used for sparkling wine, Pinot Noirs are velvet-textured and supple with spicy black cherry, and local Chardonnays are crisp and creamy, with nutty spices all their own.