Mendocino County

“One hundred miles north of San Francisco in the timeless California frontier of Mendocino, wine finds a nuanced new expression seen nowhere else in the Golden State. In a vast expanse of wilderness that has for centuries captured the imagination of California’s farmers, environmentalists, winemakers, and mavericks alike, terroir is the key to crafting wines of character and distinction—and here Ettore brings its Old World Italian wine heritage to the New World in the pursuit of exceptional organic wines.”

Terroir Page


Stewardship through organic practices defines our region’s wines and our own vineyards, showing our Italian soul and our commitment to the earth and sustainable agriculture. While the first plantings in Mendocino were made as far back as the 1850’s, and the back-to-the-land attitude of the region has always played a defining role in the organic ethos of California’s wines, the Mendocino AVA was not codified until 1984—with the region ever-evolving, innovating, and refining its style in large due to intrepid, daring new producers drawn to this expressive terroir and the environmentally-conscious community that has grown up around it.

In this land of extremes—heat and cold, peaks and valleys, nature and the human hand—we strive to make wines that truly speak of the rugged origins in which our grapes are organically grown. Mendocino’s land is as ancient as the settlers are new, and our connection to the earth is as deeply felt as our wines are timeless and perfectly suited to the table. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes—an epiphany that he describes as “love at first sight.” Here he decided to found the boutique Mendocino winery ETTORE.


Mendocino’s distinct geological footprint was formed tens of millions of years ago and consists of complexly folded and faulted bedrock, with marine sediment and volcanic deposits contributing to the full-spectrum minerality of our wines. Diverse soil types and climate factors—including wide day-night diurnal shifts in temperature and the protection from the Pacific provided by the Yorkville Highlands range of hill—assist in the production of elegant fine wines, with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot in particular producing intense, layered expressions in this one-of-a-kind terroir. The unique sub-region in which Ettore’s vineyards call home—the Sanel Valley, nestled in the northern stretches of the famous Russian River—is blessed by a warmer growing season than other more widely-known areas, allowing us to achieve a true balance of ripeness and fruit, structure and freshness.

Where California’s famed Highway 101 ventures up through the awe-inspiring natural beauty Mendocino, our tiny town of Hopland—population 756—has long attracted determined, hardworking agricultural and environmental visionaries deeply committed to low-intervention viticulture, with the result being wines of finesse which speak of their origins with confidence and conviction.


Organic Farming

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