Redwood Valley is an upland valley where the climate is cooler than surrounding appellations due to a gap in the coastal ridge which allows cool Pacific air currents to penetrate. These conditions lead to a gradual ripening of fruit that makes Redwood Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Barbera and Petite Sirah refined and complex. The notable red soil of the area also provides character to the wines. The earliest vineyards in Mendocino County were planted here among the ancient redwoods by Italian immigrants. The area gained official appellation status in 1997.