Saracina is a family-owned, organic winery and vineyards with a long history in Northern California’s Mendocino County, now recognized as “America’s Greenest Wine Region.” Since the 1980s, Saracina co-founder John Fetzer, former CEO of Fetzer Vineyards, has been recognized as an early industry leader in the promotion of organic farming and biodiversity. In 2001, nine years after selling Fetzer Vineyards, he launched Saracina Vineyards, where his goal was to highlight the outstanding viticultural traditions of Mendocino County and raise the bar for local winemaking practices.
Home to the first wine caves in Mendocino County, California, Saracina Ranch is reminiscent of the rural character of Napa Valley 30 years ago. Located in the small town of Hopland, in the Upper Russian River area, Saracina is a 600-acre property with 300 acres in vineyards. It is populated with sheep and goats roaming the hillsides, groves of 100-year-old olive trees, pomegranate orchards, organic vegetable gardens, bee hives and a bee garden and four ponds that attract myriad bird and animal life. Native cover crops and chickens in the vineyard to till the soil assist in eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides. The vines are hand-tended and farmed organically or biodynamically to maintain the vigor of the plants.
In the winery, this same philosophy of minimal intervention guides Winemaker Alex MacGregor. The fermentations rely on native rather than cultured yeasts, and the wines remain in contact with yeast lees for up to nine months. The wines are not filtered prior to bottling. These protocols have produced critically acclaimed wines that reflect a conscious sense of place.