Alexander Valley


Downstream of Squaw Rock the Russian River spreads out over the 22-mile long Alexander Valley. Flanked by mountains on each side, the valley has numerous small tributary streams and a few large creeks. Over many thousands of years over a hundred feet of gravel, eroded from the surrounding hills, has filled the valley. Floodplain wetlands and riparian habitats developed a mantle of fertile soil in the valley.

Following trapper Cyrus Alexander’s settlement in the area, Alexander Valley became an agricultural region producing fruit crops, winegrapes, dairy, and livestock. The Italian Swiss colony at Asti was a major winery before a root louse, phylloxera, wiped out the early wine industry. During the 1960s, Robert Young planted winegrapes, re-invigorating the wine industry in Alexander Valley. Today, Cloverdale and Geyserville are the primary towns. Tributary streams in the Alexander Valley include: Big Sulphur, Oat Valley, Icaria, Crocker, Barrelli, Gill, Gird, Peterson, Miller, Lytton, Sausal, and Hoot Owl creeks.