You can still come harvest your own raspberries in September, pick your own pumpkins come Halloween, or chop down a Christmas tree while December nights darken along the wending patch of the Russian River as it descends to meet the Pacific at Jenner-by-the-Sea. Commercial gardens grow flowers that decidedly define the color spectrum and a prize-winning dairy provides an expanse of mind-soothing, stress-busting, brown-eyed milkers.
As good as the Russian River Valley Chardonnays are–they are clearly world class, being slightly more lean than those of Alexander Valley, but still fruit developed enough to sustain months in oak barrels for depth and complexity–this is where Pinot Noir shines.
Where most red wines focus on flavor, Pinot Noir is about texture, that sensual, succulent, juicy, fleshy, slides-down-your-throat mouth feel that is so alluring. It is a textural delight that can only be found where morning river fogs moderate afternoon temperatures so that fruit maturity is achieved without loss of depth and suppleness.