Moon Mountain AVA earned its official status as an American Viticultural Area in 2013. The Moon Mountain district is a sub-appellation of Sonoma Valley, and has long been considered a prestigious address for vineyards. At the relatively high level of 400 to 2.700 feet above sea level, the 17,633-acre AVA is on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountains. About 2,000 acres within the AVA are planted to vineyards. The climate benefits from constant breezes from the bay as well as sunshine, since the area is above the fog line. Grapes grown in the AVA are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, with some Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Merlot grape is such a deep blue that it is named for the blackbird. It’s an early ripening grape and one of the primary varietals used In Bordeaux. Merlot is also grown in the "International style," which is harvested later to bring out more tannins and body.