Humboldt County is a wine-growing region around the city of Eureka, just north of Mendocino County in California. The boundaries of the wine zone are the same as for the administrative area of the same name.
Vineyards are scattered around the region, clustered along the banks of its many rivers and particularly around the riverside towns of Orleans, Hoopa and Willow Creek. Generally, grapes are grown in the narrow river gorges and on the slopes. The estates are often surrounded by the giant redwood trees that grow throughout Humboldt County.
Given the size of the wine region, there is a large diversity of soil types. Loamy silt soils can be found along the riverbanks, while the vineyards in the hills sit on pockets of dark, rocky shale. These soils retain daytime heat that the vines absorb during the colder nights, helping the ripening process.
Humboldt County is cooler and wetter than the rest of California. The climate is characterized by cold, rainy winters and mild, foggy summers, and the styles of wine made here reflect this.
Humboldt County's rugged terrain means that only small parts of the region are suitable for the cultivation of grapes. Because of this, the wineries here tend to be small and boutique in nature.
Some interesting cool-climate examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel are produced.