Fort Ross-Seaview and the Sonoma Coast
Hirsch Vineyards is located within the Fort Ross - Seaview AVA (American Viticultural Area), which is wholly enclosed within the much larger Sonoma Coast AVA.
The Fort Ross - Seaview AVA was granted official status in 2012, although the oldest plantings, including Hirsch, date from the 1970s, making it the oldest grape-growing region on the West Sonoma Coast. The area is distinguished by its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, high rainfall (80" on average per year), the ruggedness of its terrain, and the high elevations. Only vineyards planted above 920' elevation are included within the AVA, emphasizing the importance of farming above the summer daytime fog line.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is one of the largest AVAs in California and stretches forty miles inland at certain points. To demarcate the truly maritime parts of the AVA, the West Sonoma Coast Vintners Association was founded in 2010. It aims to preserve and protect the history, landscape and culture of the West Sonoma Coast, and to promote the region’s wines.
Hirsch Vineyards was the first vineyard planted to premium pinot noir on the West Sonoma Coast. For this reason, David Hirsch is often referred to as the pioneer of the region.