The Russian River tumbles through the north of Sonoma County and bends southwest in Healdsburg, CA. From there it continues its way westward through the heart of Sonoma’s wine country. The river’s mist hovers around redwood trees, creating a perfect environment for pinot noir and chardonnay. The Russian River loves her champagne.
The River slows down, widens, and becomes a joyous place for families, romantics, swimmers, dogs, kayakers and wine lovers. Finally, she spreads out and opens to the wide Pacific, her fresh water mingling with the salt until she vanishes into the great ocean.
The Russian River was once the transportation for lumber that was felled and sent to the bay. Out of the bay and into ships, the lumber was used to build the burgeoning city of San Francisco.
This incredible river, all 58 miles of her, was called San Ygnacio by the Spanish in the early 1800s. When the Russians settled at Fort Ross, just a bit up the coast, they called the river Slavianka, which means Slav woman. (She does have lovely curves.) In 1843, we find the first recorded version of her current name in a request for a Spanish land grant. She was described as la boca del Rio Ruso, or The Mouth of the Russian River.
She has become her own wine appellation. We think she prefers the kids laughing along her beaches.