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Situated between Healdsburg and Cloverdale, by the Russian River, which runs between and rises in the Mendocino County, the Alexander Valley is just one of the many examples of the beauty California holds. The valley is an exemplary harvesting area for many of the more classic wines as well as the lesser known wines.
The valley is named after a man names Cyrus Alexander, a Pennsylvanian pursuer of adventure. Hired by Captain Fitch in a bid to locate unclaimed land which could be suitable for ranching, Alexander rode from San Diego on his hunt. The valley obviously struck the man, and upon his recommendations, Captain Fitch bought 48,000 acres of the area. As part of his finders fee, Alexander was given land on which he planted the region's first vineyard.
The Californian gold rush of 1849, which attracted the original get-rich-quick schemers from all over the world, increased the population of Alexander Valley. At the time wheat was the most grown crop but vineyards and orchards were also grown at the time. The creation of the first winery in Alexander Valley is credited to a man named H. Kier, which occurred in Cloverdale in the year 1872. By 1875 the amount of land taken up by vineyards in Alexander Valley was 230 acres.
After that time, in the 1880's and 1890's, Alexander Valley experienced a growth in the number of wineries and vineyards. In a mere decade, by 1885, it is estimated that 1,500 acres were taken up by vineyards. At that time, and still to this day, wines in Alexander Valley were greatly valued and were favored also by wineries in other areas.
Cabernet Sauvignon is certainly the most produced wine on the valley floor, the area also produces Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. The valley also produces excellent colder climate wine varieties such as Gewurztraminer and Rieslig.
The Alexander Valley homes many a beautiful vineyard and winery but most notably the homestead built by Cyrus Alexander is still in working order. Purchased by the Wetzel Family in 1963, the unforgettably named "Alexander Valley Vineyards" produces 11 varieties of wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir. Their winery tasting room is available to visit every day from 10am to 5pm ( www.avvwine.com ).
- Château Souverain : Built in 1973, Chateau Souverain Winery & Cafe is best known for producing award winning Cabernet's.
- Hanna Winery : Hanna Winery - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
- Silver Oak Cellars : Cabernet Sauvignon specialist with vineyards in Alexander and Napa valleys. Offers product descriptions, videos, a newsletter, a "personal cellar," and a company overview.
- Clos du Bois : Clos du Bois Winery - Sonoma County, California
- Kendal-Jackson Winery : Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates portfolio of premium wines from hillside and coastal growing regions. Along with Kendall-Jackson, which features Collage, Vintner's Reserve, Grand Reserve, Great Estates and Stature wines, KJWE offers wines from Camelot, Pepi,
- Simi Winery : Produces Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc in Healdsburg. Contains product descriptions, awards, and information about the vineyards and winemaker.
- Geyser Peak Winery : Geyserville producer of red, white, and dessert wines. Includes product descriptions, online purchasing, award lists, company information, vineyard descriptions, and recipes.
- Seghesio Winery : Healdsburg producer, founded in 1895, and focusing on Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Italian varietal wines. Contains product descriptions, online ordering, news, and company information.
- Fetzer Vineyards : Fetzer Vineyards is America's sixth largest producer of premium wines.