Ten miles from the Pacific coast, cool foggy nights and bright sunny days characterize the Handley Estate Vineyard in Anderson Valley’s “Deep End.” One of California’s coolest grape growing regions, the climate of Anderson Valley is ideal for the 13.4 acres of Pinot Noir, 12.2 acres of Chardonnay, and 3.2 acres of Gewürztraminer planted here. All of our Handley Estate Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and sparkling wines are produced entirely from Estate fruit, as are most of our reserve bottlings of Pinot Noir. The Handley Estate Vineyard has been certified organic since 2005 and the hilltop RSM Estate since 2017. We work to encourage healthy, living soils, which in turn support the grapevines and yield flavorful fruit which shows varietal character and regional attributes.
Handley Cellars completed the CCOF Organic certification process for grape growing because we believe that this helps to minimize our impact on the environment and creates a healthy workplace for our employees. We’ve taken additional steps to support environmental conservation at Handley, which include running the winery on 75 percent solar-powered electricity, installing an EV charging station onsite for our guests, and using non-toxic products in all possible aspects of running the winery.
Before your next visit to our winery, please call ahead and request a tour of the Estate Vineyard to see these processes in action!
RSM Estate Vineyard is named for Milla’s late husband, Rex Scott McClellan, who planted this seven-acre vineyard from 1999 to 2001. Located between 700 feet and 1,000 feet above sea level, this steep hillside vineyard sits above the fog line, sheltered from the wind by the surrounding redwood and fir forests. Shallow soils and warmer nighttime temperatures result in consistently riper, richer Pinot Noir with concentrated flavors, moderate acidity, and soft tannins. In 2005, we bottled our first vintage as a vineyard designate wine. In 2017, we certified this vineyard CCOF organic. This vineyard is usually among our first to be picked at harvest time in the Anderson Valley.
The Anderson Valley Appellation is located in the rolling hills of the coastal region of Mendocino County, about three hours northwest of San Francisco. This unique valley runs approximately 15 miles from the town of Boonville in the southeast through Philo to the town of Navarro in the northwest. Morning and evening fog and cool breezes follow the Navarro River from the coast through the “Deep End” of Anderson Valley and then dissipate as they travel inland. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Aslatian varieties flourish here. The inland and central regions of Anderson Valley near Philo and Boonville offer progressively warmer microclimates for grape growing within the Anderson Valley.
In addition to our own Estate fruit, numerous Handley Cellars wines are crafted from grapes grown by other small local farmers in diverse parts of Anderson Valley. Contributors include Helluva, Romani Family, Roderick Ranch, and Meyer Vineyards. We are grateful for our longstanding partnerships with these exceptional growers.
For further information regarding the Anderson Valley Appellation, visit Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association.
In addition to our Anderson Valley growers, Handley also values our relationships with small farmers who cultivate grapes in Mendocino County’s inland valleys and ridge tops. Fruit from these other appellations provides Handley Cellars with an opportunity to work with grapes from different climates and warmer sites. Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah grapes are some of our favorite varieties from these areas.
To learn more about the various Mendocino County Appellations, visit Mendocino Winegrowers Inc.