The McDowell Valley AVA is a high-sloping bench land that sits up to 1,000 feet above sea level and which obtained appellation status in 1987. Overlooking the Russian River to the west, this charming valley in southeastern Mendocino County covers only 540 acres. The region is slightly cooler than surrounding areas, creating conditions that are ideal for select varietals. The McDowell Valley specializes in Rhone red varietals like Grenache and Syrah, plus Zinfandel, some coming from century-old vineyards. White Rhone varietals like Marsanne and Viognier complement the roster of big flavorful reds.