The Mendocino Ridge occupies the mountainous terrain between the Shoreline Highway and Highway 128 from Albion in the north to Gualala in the south. Mendocino Ridge is the only non-contiguous AVA as it only includes land above the 1200 foot fog line. Due to the mountain peaks poking through the fog, many people refer to this area as islands in the sky. The AVA encompasses slightly over 86,000 acres, only 2000 of which is suitable for grape production. The vineyards’ high altitude, cool temperatures and uninterrupted sun result in a long growing season. In addition, the soils that support the Redwood and Douglas Fur trees surrounding the vineyards are well-drained with little summer to winter temperature variance. Although there are very few wineries within the Mendocino Ridge AVA and none are open for tasting, you can still sample some of these high altitude wines at the nearby Greenwood Ridge Winery in Philo where they rely on Mendocino Ridge grapes for several of their wines. In addition, Edmeades Winery (not open for tasting) produces several highly regarded wines using Mendocino Ridge grapes, with Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Riesling ranking among the best in the country.