Benchland in Mendocino
North America’s smallest AVA.
Cole Ranch’s history traces back to May of 1983 when John Cole, a retired engineer, believed this parcel of land on HWY 253 between Boonville and Ukiah would be an idyllic spot to plant vines. With a variety of soils from loam to gravel, and even limestone, this 60-acre plot was originally planted to a range of varietals including Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Riesling. Today, Mike Lucia of Rootdown Wine owns the property and he is continually pushing the boundaries of this land by planting alpine varietals like Savignin and Mondeuse.
Isolation and elevation.
Highway 253 winds its way from the town of Boonville in Anderson Valley all the way up to Ukiah. Cole Ranch sits right up against the highway roughly eight miles southeast of downtown Ukiah. At one-quarter square mile, this is easily the smallest appellation in America. Perched between 1200-1600 ft in elevation the vineyard is surprisingly cool despite being relatively inland compared to our other Riesling sites. Though one might think the surrounding environment filled with oak trees would lean toward a warmer microclimate, Cole Ranch continues to be one of the last sites to be picked for Cobb.