Bordering Sonoma County to the southeast and serving as the gateway to the Anderson Valley and Boonville to the northwest, the region supports a population of 317 people who frequent the two establishments: the Yorkville Market and Deli and the post office/community center/fire station. Many residents are involved in the wine-making and grape-growing industry; others raise livestock and grow other crops such as olives and cannabis. The beauty and serenity of the area inspire many artists, providing creative stimulus for their photography, writing, painting, sculpting, wood working, music, etc.
Yorkville Highlands means many things to many people. It is a wine appellation, featuring luscious Pinot Noirs, crisp Sauvignon Blancs and several other varietals. It is a dramatic landscape of grasslands, towering redwoods and spreading old oaks, teeming with a vast network of wildlife. It is a tightly knit community of kindred souls, some of whom have lived here for generations and others newly arrived.
A brief history
When European settlers arrived in this area, they found camps and villages of Central Pomo people along the Rancheria Creek that flows into the Navarro River and to the sea. When the settlers saw the natural richness of the area, they quickly established homesteads, setting up sheep-grazing and farming operations. Extensive logging in the thick conifer forests of Coast redwood and Douglas fir soon followed. By the mid-1970s, however, the logging industry had slowed and a new industry took root in the fertile soil: the wine business. There are now 23 vineyards and seven wineries in the Highlands, growing superior grapes and making premium wines.
While you’re here
Learn about the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, a 3,670-acre parcel of pristine land donated to Sonoma State University in 2004 by local rancher Fred Galbreath. Part of SSU’s Center for Environmental Inquiry, the preserve provides students and faculty the opportunity to study and conduct research in this varied habitat. The preserve offers a series of educational adventures and programs open to the public. For more information on the preserve and its programs, visit: http://www.sonoma.edu/cei/galbreath/about.html.
Have a picnic and explore the Mailliard Redwoods State Reserve, a small tract of redwoods alongside Mill Creek on Fish Rock Road, a few miles west of the Yorkville post office.
Eat, taste and shop at the Yorkville Market. Try their mouth-watering hamburgers and deli sandwiches, delectable salads, local seasonal produce, artisanal products, cool drinks and a wicked local ice cream. This is the perfect place to start your Mendocino County wine tasting.