Several years ago my wife and I visited Northern California where we spent time in San Francisco and points north. Most of our trip was spent in Mendocino County which I found to be geographically diverse and beautiful. There was coastline, hills, redwood forest, farms, scenic fishing villages, costal hamlets and several vineyards.

At the time I knew very little about Mendocino wines, so I was pleasantly surprised to find so many excellent wineries outside of Napa and Sonoma.  Mendocino is very dedicated to organic wines and has for several years. Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Rhone style blends and particularly Zinfandel. Anderson Valley which is a sub-AVA region of Mendocino has a reputation for wonderful cool climate wines.

Jaxon Keyes Vineyard is located in Southern Mendocino near route 101 highway runs through some of the most beautiful, pastoral sights in California. Their Farmhouse Red is a true representation of the style of wine you might expect from the area.  With a rich blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Syrah, this inky colored wine has a delicious balance of juicy, rich, jammy dark berry fruit and spice laden flavors that make up a wopping 14.5% alcohol gem that is just as smooth as it is big and bold.

A little known fact about Mendocino that may come to a surprise to movie fans is the rich cinematic tradition the county has had through the years. The rocky coastline, tall pines and hilly farmland have been able to duplicate everything from Cornwall, England, Nova Scotia, New England and even John Steinbeck’s Salinas, California.

For those who are classic film fans there are a few titles that will come up on TCM from time to time that were filmed at least in some part in Mendocino. They include:

Frenchman’s Creek (1944)

East of Eden (1955)

Our Town (1940)

Johnny Belinda (1948)