Northern Sonoma County is going through a boom of Vineyard planting in the valleys and on the ridges near the coast, often just above the fog belt but within reach of cooling sea breezes. The Russian River enters the ocean in the town of Jenner. Summer days are too chilly here to property ripen grades; you'll have to drive inland and upriver, through the redwoods to where a valley open to a mini-pain, this is where you will find the famous wineries. The region is known for its chardonnay and pinot noir.
The Russians established their settlement in California, Fort Ross, north of the Russian River in 1812, to grow food for their Alaskan forts and to hunt sea otters. The Sea otter was almost exterminated by the mid-1800s, but have started to make a comeback in the 1930s. Today, fort Ross has been fully restored, and in the summer, rangers demonstrate aspects of Russian Life on the coast in the early 19th century.