America’s smallest wine appellation on sale for $3.3m

America’s smallest AVA, Cole Ranch, has gone on sale for US$3.3 million, giving prospective buyers the chance to own the entire 150-acre appellation located in Mendocino, California.

Listed for sale on California Outdoor Properties, the appellation covers 150 acres, with 55 acres under vine. It is planted with varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon (26.5 acres), Riesling (11.5 acres), Pinot Noir (10.2 acres) and Merlot (7 acres).

According to the listing, around 130 tons of grapes a year are sold to nearby wineries. The sale also includes a building site on a knoll overlooking the vineyards, a property for a vineyard manager, private septic system, overhead electric cables and an “abundant water supply” which includes rights to a reservoir.

Cole Ranch is located in a remote, oak-lined valley, around 1,400 feet above sea level, and is two hours by car from San Francisco.

Ohio-born John Cole planted the first vines in the area in the 1970s, with Cole Ranch officially recognised as an American Viticultural Area in 1983.

With its own mesoclimate, Cole Ranch is wetter and cooler than neighbouring appellations, with wines produced in the area noted for their crisp acidity.

Speaking to SF Gate, Todd Renfrew of California Outdoor Properties, said: “The best thing about this property is the water rights.

He explained that while the reservoir, which used to be part of Cole Ranch, had been sold off, the water rights remained.

Commenting on the work of the previous owners, he added: “They’ve fixed it up and cleaned it up, and now it’s ready for someone already in the wine industry or someone who wants to get into it.”

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