In addition to our 17-acre estate Merlot vineyard, Ledson Winery owns 21 acres of "old-vine" Zinfandel in the town of Sonoma and 5,500 acres in Mendocino County; a small portion of which is planned for Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay.
We also source grapes from a select group of premiere vineyards throughout California's north and central coast growing regions. We work closely with our grower partners in the following appellations to maximize the varietal character and site signature of our premium Ledson wines.
Alexander Valley borders the Russian River from just south of Healdsburg, north to the Sonoma Mendocino County line. With less influence from the coastal fog, the region tends to be warm, although varying topography, soils and mesoclimates make it diverse enough to do well with a broad range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Gewürztraminer.
Stretching from Healdsburg in the north to Sebastopol and along the Russian River to the Pacific ocean, the Russian River AVA encompasses close to 10,000 acres of vineyard plantings, most of which are planted to bench land and valley floor. The region's cool climate, defined by fog intrusion from the Pacific Ocean and its proximity to the river, make it ideal for the production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Small amounts of Johannisberg Riesling and Gewürztraminer have also done very well in the Russian River Valley.
Dry Creek Valley
Paralleling the Alexander Valley in its northwest-to-southeast orientation, the Dry Creek Valley is bordered by Geyserville to the north and Healdsburg to the south and boasts more than 6,000 acres of vines. The region enjoys a long growing season and on average is wetter and warmer than Russian River. The region's signature red soils and long, warm growing season incredibly muscular Zinfandel as well as good examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Cradled between Sonoma Mountain to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east, the Sonoma Valley, also known as Valley of the Moon runs from Santa Rosa in the north to the San Pablo Bay in the south. The Valley, although small, has an amazing tapestry of microclimates, elevations and soil types. It is as viticulturally diverse as regions much larger. In the southern, fog-infused Carneros region, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay shine, while the warmer, up-valley bench lands favor the production of Merlot, Cabernet and Zinfandel.
Unquestionably the best known of all California wine regions, Napa Valley stretches 30 miles from Calistoga south to where the Napa River meets the San Francisco Bay. The valley floor varies from three to four miles wide in the south to less than one mile wide in the north. Most of the grapes are planted to the valley floor and lower hillsides. In fact with over 36,000 acres in vine, there is little land left for new vineyard development. The heart of the valley produces some of the world's finest Cabernet Sauvignon, while the marine-influenced Carneros region to the south produces exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot.
Situated between Alexander Valley to the north and Napa Valley to the south, the tiny Knights Valley is planted to approximately 1,000 acres of vine and enjoys a warm growing climate. The appellation is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Lodi AVA is located 100 miles east of San Francisco between Stockton and Sacramento. The San Joaquin Delta, which forms the region's western boundary, contributes cooling breezes and the regions' rich alluvial soils. Best known as Zinfandel country - the region accounts for over half of all Zinfandel crushed in California -- Lodi has been gaining recognition for its white grapes as well, most notably Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
With its surrounding rugged coastline and towering redwoods, Anderson Valley (Mendocino County) is the most majestic and northern of California's coastal region. Although Mendocino tends to be fairly warm, the Anderson Valley appellation enjoys a long, fog-cooled growing season and has established itself as a premier producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. .
With over 44,000 acres of wine grapes planted, Madera County is the second most heavily planted county in California. Located in the mid Central Valley, the region's warm climate and fertile soils produce good examples of Chardonnay, Grenache, Merlot and Barbera.
The Monterey AVA spans 32,500 vineyard acres and includes the sub appellations of Salinas Valley, Arroyo Seco, Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands. The region is defined by two rather extreme climatic influences; the cooling winds that roar in from the Monterey Bay and its almost dessert-like lack of rainfall. In fact Salinas Valley is the only growing region in California to depend entirely on irrigation. White varieties represent close to 68% of the total plantings in Monterey, with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Johannisberg Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc leading the way.
Located due north of Napa County and directly east of Mendocino County, Lake County is so named for Clear Lake. The region is fairly warm and so most of the vineyards are planted to higher elevations along fairly mountainous terrain, benefitting from the moderating effect of cooler evening temperatures. Lake County is planted to about 3,400 acres in total with the majority devoted to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
One of the newest AVAs, Contra Costa is located at an inlet to the San Francisco Bay about 30 miles south of Napa Valley. The region, noted for its sandy, well drained soils and maritime influences is best known for it dry farm, old vine Zinfandel.