Rural and Slow Paced: Mendocino

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Mendocino is a county of rural communities, miles of scenic coastline, and intense natural beauty. When you visit Mendocino it is unusual to do so in a hurry. The winding highways, whether wrapping along the coast or between redwood forests and vineyards, are certain to slow you down. But the attitude of the historic little towns and even the larger community centers is one that is measured more by the pace of the earth and less by the watch on the wrist.

There are five separate regions that are host to several different AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). Two regions line the coast, the South Mendocino Coast and the North Mendocino Coast; inland regions are: Anderson Valley, Russian River Valleys and the large North Mendocino county region. Climates range from cool, foggy, and windy on the coast to inland highs of 90 in the summer to winter lows in the 20s and 30s.

Less than 100,000 people live in the almost 2 million acres that make up Mendocino County. Tourism, wine grapes, forest products, commercial fishing, orchard crops, livestock and poultry production, and government services drive the local economy.

The diverse growing region supports many grape varieties including: Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Carignan, Charbono and Grenache; well-known Pinot Noirs come out of the notable Anderson and Russian River Valleys and prestigious sparkling wines also are celebrated products of the region.

Wine tasting is a favorite visitor activity and the local produce and fun-loving community make enjoyable times and delicious meals (and picnics) part of that adventure. Before embarking upon your tasting escapade, you should check the times and hours of the winery tasting rooms, some open just on weekends during the off-season.

Before embarking upon your tasting escapade, you should check the times and hours of the winery tasting rooms, to confirm off season and holiday hours (especially of the smaller tasting rooms). Start planning your visits to the areas' wine tasting rooms by using the listing on WineCountry.com

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