HISTORY

The history of the Ukiah Valley originates with its native people, the Pomo, who have continuously inhabited the area over the past 7000 years. Their territory included parts of Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, and Colusa Counties. The name Ukiah derives from the Pomo word meaning “deep valley.” They were a peaceful people and renowned for their basket weaving abilities, which included a variety of techniques and a range in patterns that is arguably unrivaled throughout North America.

In 1850, Mendocino became one of the original counties of California at the time of statehood. The county’s name was borrowed from Cape Mendocino, named in honor of Antonio de Mendoza, the first Viceroy of New Spain. In 1852, Cayetano Juarez, a Mexican soldier, received the Yokayo land grant which encompassed over 35,000 acres of land and much of the present day Ukiah Valley. The town of Ukiah was founded in 1856, and later became the county seat of Mendocino.

Early settlers in the Ukiah Valley grazed herds of cattle along the fertile valley’s floor. As these settlers established themselves, industry within the valley expanded to include the production of cereals, fruits, vegetables, hops, and lumber. The region's historic winegrowing industry, dating back to the 1850’s, remained small due to its geographic isolation which made exportation to larger cities difficult. The advent of prohibition further hindered grape production in favor of other commodities, predominately timber and fruits. During the 1960’s, the recognition of high quality wine sites throughout Mendocino and the Ukiah Valley revitalized the struggling industry. Today these wines are exported worldwide and noted for their exceptional quality.


ABOUT UKIAH

Ukiah is a city of over fifteen thousand people who enjoy a classic American lifestyle in the Yokayo Valley along fabled Highway 101. We're about a hundred actual miles north of San Francisco, but perhaps more like a thousand miles sociologically. We like it that way.

Our town is a favorite stopover and destination point for tourists, offering many pleasant diversions for guests and residents alike.

In addition to being prime wine country, there are lots of scenic farms along the Russian River, many of them organic. The area produces other crops, such as pears and lumber, but we're here for the wine and Mendocino County is naturally at the forefront of the organic wine movement.

UKIAH VALLEY SOILS

Nestled between the Mayacamas and Coastal mountain ranges, the Ukiah Valley represents a diverse mix of different and unique soil types. The origin of these soils began 145 million years ago as the Pacific plate started to slide beneath the North American plate. Melted rocks, in the form of magma, seeped through to the earth’s surface, building the basis of the area's volcanic mountain ranges. Thousands of years of subsequent erosion deposited sediment down the hillsides and into the valleys. The ever changing paths of the Russian River and mountain drainages have layered the valley floor with millions of years of geologic history that constitute the soils of Ukiah.

Soils within the valley basin are mostly rich and fertile loams, with high crop productivity. Approaching the hills, fertility generally decreases and soils are well situated for vine, fruit, and cereal production. The hard gravelly soil at the base of the hills climbing up into the mountains is the least productive but best suited for grape varieties that require faster drainage. Of the different soil types located throughout the Ukiah Valley, many are suitable for the production of highly quality wines.



CLIMATE

The Ukiah Valley boasts a temperate Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and dry, moderate summers. Rainfall occurs mainly in the months of November through April, while humidity remains moderate to high year round. Prevailing winds are mainly west to southwest in direction at an average of 11 miles per hour.


Warm moderate days, coupled with cool nights, create an ideal opportunity for the production of high quality wine grapes. The cool night time temperatures retain the grapes’ acidity while warm days facilitate ripening. Grapes remain crisp and flavorful, which transcends into the wines an increased ability to age and sense of freshness.

Average annual rainfall
36.96 inches
Average summer temperature
range 45 - 95 F

Average high temperature
73.5 F
Average low temperature 46.1 F