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Almost one third of all grapes grown in Sonoma County come from theRussian River Valley. This area is so large, that number translates toonly 10% of the valley. The rest is pasture, forest, and farmlandsdotted by a few quaint towns. A cool layer of damp marine aircomingfrom the ocean, just a few miles to the west, rolls down theriver and into the canyons and gullies. This slows the ripeningprocess, and the wines produced from these grapes are generally morecomplex – harvesting is several weeks later here than most places. Asgood as the Russian River Valley Chardonnays are (they are world-classand slightly leaner than those of the Alexander Valley) this is wherePinot Noir shines. Most red wines focus on flavor, but Pinot Noir isabout texture…that sensual, juicy, supple feel in your mouth.

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