The Green Valley AVA is located in the western portion of the Russian River Valley AVA. With its close proximity to the ocean and frequent fog during the growing season, Green Valley has long been considered a cooler area within the Russian River Valley and therefore ideal for growing premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Fruit in this area is highly sought-after—however, producers rarely use the Green Valley AVA name for their bottlings. Instead, Green Valley fruit is in strong demand for the finest Russian River Valley offerings.
As the market for quality Pinot Noir has matured, producers have looked further west and south to Freestone-Occidental and the Sebastopol Hills for their sources for cool-climate fruit, and Green Valley is now considered to be a relatively warmer area within west county. The result is that Green Valley offers an enviable combination of better and more consistent yields—yet still very high quality fruit.
The Green Valley AVA boundaries are set by Highway 116 to the east and north, Jonive Road and the area just west of Harrison Grade to the west, and Bodega Hwy (Hwy 12) to the south. A small portion of the AVA extends below Bodega Hwy, following a continuation of the valley south into the more hilly Sebastopol Hills along Watertrough and Pleasant Hill roads.
The eastern half of the valley is mostly level plains and lies at an elevation of roughly 100 to 200 feet. The larger-scale vineyards of the appellation are located here, with the Dutton Family, Emeritus Vineyards, Keefer Ranch and the Jackson Family operating significant properties. As you move west, the plains give way to hills with elevations up to 750 to 800 feet. Here, Heintz Vineyard is a rare large-scale development, known for its quality Chardonnay. The area is primarily made up of small hillside and ridge top vineyards, with quality vineyard designates coming from, among others, DZ Vineyard, Hawk Hill, DuMOL’s Home Estate vineyard, Chenoweth Ranch, W.E. Bottoms and Searby.
Like the Sebastopol Hills, this western portion of Green Valley is a very desirable area for rural estates. Many of the vineyards here do include significant estate components.
Virtually all of the vineyards in Green Valley are planted on Goldridge Fine Sandy Loam, a soils series that covers over 80% of the area’s plantable land.
Green Valley, in many ways, is the “sweet spot” for growing premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay among the cool climate regions of west Sonoma County. The high quality of fruit, combined with yields approaching 3 tons per acre, make this a great area for growers. Cooler areas, like Freestone-Occidental, often make sense financially only for premium wine producers, whose financial models don’t end with the profitability of the crop, but extend through to the bottle.
As many premium wine producers have looked to the coolest growing regions, like Freestone-Occidental and the Sebastopol Hills, the Green Valley AVA has become a targeted area where a slightly warmer can produce higher and more predictable yields—yet very high quality fruit.
Wineries that have sourced from Green Valley appellation vineyards (* indicates vineyard is winery-owned)
- Aubert Wines: Lauren's Vineyard*, Reuling Vineyard
- August West Wine: Graham Family Vineyard*
- Ceritas Wines: Heintz Vineyard, Porter Bass Vineyard
- Chappellet Winery: Bateman Vineyard
- Dehlinger WInery: Winery Estate*
- DuMOL: Heintz Veinyeard, Home Ranch*, Jentoft Vineyard
- Dutton Ranch: House Block*, Green Valley Ranch, Hansen Hill, Jentoft, Marty's #1*, Mill Station*, Morelli Lane*, Thomas Road
- Emeritus Vineyards, Hallberg Ranch*
- EnRoute Winery: Graton Vineyard*, Manzana Vineyard
- Failla: Keefer Ranch
- Flowers Vineyard & Winery: DZ Vineyard, Heintz Vineyard
- Freeman Vineyards: Black Emerald, Heintz Vineyard, Keefer Ranch, O'Connor Vineyard, Winery Estate*
- E&J Gallo Winery: Laguna Ranch*
- Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery: Keefer Ranch, Hallberg Ranch
- Halleck Vineyards: Hallberg Ranch
- Harrington Wines: Maurice Galante Vineyard
- Hartford Family Winery: Arrendell, Winery Estate*
- J Vineyards: Bateman Vineyard, Campbell Vineyard, Sullivan Vineyard
- Joseph Swan Vineyards: Winery Estate*
- Kendall-Jackson: Arrendell*, Bones Road, Ross Road
- Kistler Vineyards: Jentoft Vineyard, Silver Belt Vineyard, Winery Estate*
- Korbel Champagne Cellars: Various
- Kosta Browne: Keefer Ranch, Heintz Vineyard
- Iron Horse Vineyards: Winery Estate*
- LIOCO: Heintz Vineyard
- Lindstrom Wines: Bateman Vineyard
- Littorai: Heintz Vineyard, Mays Canyon
- Loring Wine Co: Keefer Ranch
- Lynmar Estate: Susana's* Quail Estate (winery site)*
- Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery: Don Miguel Winery Estate*
- Marinelli Winery: Jackass Hill*, Martinelli Road*, Lolita Ranch*, Zio Tony Ranch*
- Merry Edwards Winery: Klopp Ranch, Coppersmith Vineyard & Winery Estate*
- Migration: Heintz Vineyard
- Nickel & Nickel: Searby Vineyard
- Patz & Hall Wines: Bateman Vineyard, Chenoweth Ranch
- Paul Hbbs Wines: Ellen Lane Estate, Katherine Lindsay (Winery) Estate*
- Peter Michael Winery: Reuling Vineyard
- Red Car Wine Co: Barolomei Vineyard
- Salina Wine Company: Heintz Vineyard, W.E. Bottoms
- Siduri Wines: Ewald Vineyard, Keefer Ranch
- Small Vines Wines: Home Estate*
- Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards: Black Emerald Vineyard, Vine Hill Ranch
- Suacci Carciere Wines: Heintz Vineyard, Keefer Ranch
- Thomas George Estates: Cresta Ridge*
- T.R. Elliott: Hallberg Ranch
- Williams Selyem: Heintz Vineyard
- Zapaltas Wines: Heintz Vineyard, Keefer Ranch, W.E. Bottoms