Mendocino County Real Estate & Homes for Sale
Anderson Valley is the sparcely populate bucolic valley about 2 hours north of San Francisco that connects The Alexander Valley with the Pacific Ocean. The early European American settlers of Anderson Valley arrived after 1850. They practiced subsistence farming and expanded into resource extraction economies based on timber harvesting and livestock ranching. In 1880 a human population of around 1,000 maintained 75,000 head of sheep and 20,000 head of cattle. Commercial production of apples and hops began before the turn of the century, along with the development of Boontling, the local folk language. The 1940s and 1950s were boom years, when industrial automation and modern highway transportation enabled rapid liquidation logging of the remaining redwood forests. Many commercial lumber mills were established to work the brief timber boom.
By the 1960s the sheep, timber and apple sectors of the economy were in decline. Large tracts of land were removed from production and subdivided. The first commercial vineyards for wine grapes were planted.
A wine boom began in the 1980s. This led to the establishment of the Anderson Valley AVA, specializing in Alsatian varietals, Pinot noir and sparkling wine. The wine industry is currently the dominant contributor to the Anderson Valley economy, and major producers include Lazy Creek Vineyards and Roederer Estate. The valley offers a more relaxed version of the Wine Country Lifestyle than one finds further south.