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Rare, Entire American Viticultural Area (AVA) for Sale in Northern California

2 Cole Ranch

February 22, 2019 — Imagine owning an entire AVA (American Viticultural Area) in one of the most scenic parts of California.  For $3.3 million, it can happen.

Viticultural Area

24 Cole Ranch

Located in Mendocino County, the 150-acre Cole Ranch has just come on the market.  It isn’t just a vineyard.  It has been designated as its own Viticultural Area “….distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), of the United States Department of the Treasury.”  It can’t get more official than that.

Of the 107 AVAs in California, Cole Ranch is the smallest. Rolling hills studded with California oaks surround the 56 acres planted to vines.  The elevation is 1,400 to 1,600 feet making it cooler than nearby Ukiah.  The cooler temperature affects the acidity levels in the grapes producing wines that are delicate and fruity.  To quote a 2007 review in the San Francisco Chronicle: “That marked acidity is the defining trait of Cole Ranch wines. The wines are remarkably delicate, yet earthy, with bright fruit flavors.  Almost every year, Cole Ranch Rieslings have an electric edge.”

Original and Current Owners

The original owner of the ranch was John Cole of Ohio.  In the 1970s he planted grapes of the wines he liked to drink which were Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Riesling.  He made some wine for personal use and sold the rest of the grapes to other winemakers.  The cool climate limits production but intensifies quality.  About 130 tons are available for sale each year.  The Cole Ranch has had two other owners since John Cole, the current one being an experienced vigneron who replaced some old vines and trellising, generally making the vineyard operational for the next owner.


The listing agent Todd Renfrew of California Outdoor Properties said that the property has ample water supply from a neighboring reservoir where Cole Ranch has exclusive rights.  Natural spring water is also available.  There’s no main house, just a manager’s trailer, but there’s a plethora of beautiful locations with scenic views for a lovely home to be built.  Check out the video.


While Cole Ranch offers matchless privacy, it is surprisingly less than a half hour to Hopland, an hour to Santa Rosa and about two hours to San Francisco.  And for $3.3 million, your dream can come true.