In its early history, the territory commonly referred to as the “Alexander Valley” denoted the benchlands east of the Russian River leading up to the Mayacamas Mountains. The area west of the Russian River was known as “the plaines” or “the ranchos.” Prior to Spanish colonization, Alexander Valley was occupied by the Wappo and Pomo. Viticulture in the area dates back to 1843, when Cyrus Alexander used vine cuttings collected from Fort Ross on the Pacific coast, to establish vineyards in the area. For most of its history the region was predominately associated with mass-produced bulk and jug wines made from indiscriminately planted field blends of red grape varieties. A modern era of quality wine production began in the late 1960s when a new owner of Simi Winery sought to revive the area’s long winemaking history. In the 1970s, a new wave of producers, such as Chateau Souverain and Jordan Vineyard & Winery, descended upon the area and started making wines that received critical and consumer acclaim. Wine pioneer, Rodney Strong, whose namesake winery is located in Russian River Valley, was also among the first to recognize Alexander Valley’s potential, producing and releasing Sonoma County’s first single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1974 vintage.