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Russian River Valley

What's in a name?

The first non-native settlers of Sonoma County—the Russians—settled in the area from around 1812-1841. Finding the region perfect for agriculture, they cultivated the land, sending food and other necessities to their colonies in Alaska. No one knows exactly when the Russians first decided to plant grape vines, though historians believe the early plantings at Fort Ross were the first in Sonoma County—cultivated long before the Gold Rush of 1849. The Russians abandoned their outpost in Northern California in 1841, but settlers from wine-producing European countries continued to develop the viticulture of the area.

According to historic reports from the period, by 1876 the Russian River Valley area produced an excess of 500,000 gallons of wine from about 7,000 planted acres of vineyard. The name Russian River Valley was first used on a bottled wine in 1970, and the region became an official American Viticultural Area in 1983.

Climate and Geology

Shape a Valley

The cool maritime conditions of the region are ideally suited for early ripening Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and finding excellent vineyards within this world-class region continues to drive the style of Bynum wines. We determined long ago that our wines should be shaped by the land from which they come.

The Russian River Valley climate is influenced by the consistent creep of cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west. Much like the tide, it ebbs and flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the Russian River across the coastal hills. The fog typically arrives in the evening, dropping temperatures by as much as 35 to 40 degrees, and retreats to the ocean the following morning. This natural air-conditioning allows wine grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season while retaining their natural acidity.

Farming For Today

And Tomorrow

Davis Bynum’s sustainable vineyard practices are officially certified by the California Sustainable Winegrower’s Alliance. The statewide certification board provides third-party verification of adherence to a process of continuous improvement in the implementation of sustainable winegrowing practices. We are committed to doing our part for our community today, and for generations to come.