The Mendocino Ridge AVA is located on 262,400 acres within the coastal zone of Mendocino County, California. Mendocino Ridge's boundaries begin at the coastal ridges adjacent to the Pacific Ocean that reach inland toward the Anderson Valley. Mendocino Ridge is limited by elevation, reserved only for vineyards at or above 1200 feet. There are 2,000 acres of vineyards perched above thick fog moving inland from the Pacific Ocean blanketing the coast and the valleys between the ridge tops, allowing the vines to grow above the blanket of fog. The area is known its production of Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.
The early wine producers in this viticultural area were Italian immigrants who planted Alicante-Bouscet, Carignan, Malvasia, Muscat, Palomino and Zinfandel. The first winery in the area, and indeed all of Mendocino County, was Antonio Ciapusci who planted his land in 1878. Many of these vineyards were replanted with other crops during Prohibition but several have survived including the Ciapusci, Perli, Gianoli and Zeni vineyards.