One of the most northern winemaking regions in California, Mendocino County has recently been enjoying greater recognition for it's world class wines, truly a hidden gem! Similar to Sonoma County, the area expands from the coastal to the inland with many different microclimates. The cool climate and high elevation on the coastal of Mendocino provides the perfect conditions for Bourgogne varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as some wonderful sparkling wines, whereas the warmer middle and hot inland sections are famous for bold Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as well as Rhône varietals such as Grenache and Syrah. With 10 unique American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within the area, this is truly an exciting region to keep an eye on and explore with new, fun, and of course high quality wines being constantly produced!
Yorkville Highlands AVA
Located between Anderson Valley AVA, the largest AVA in Mendocino, to the West and Alexander Valley AVA of Sonoma County to the Southeast, Yorkville Highlands is a relatively cool winegrowing region. While the region is not too large when compared to other regions, the uniqueness of Yorkville Highlands is it's elevation. The vineyards are located between 260 and 760 meters high and allows for warm days and cold nights, optimal conditions for growing grapes. The area is known for producing wondering cool-climate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as warmer grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Sauvignon Blanc.
McDowell Valley AVA
Found in the Southeastern corner of Mendocino, McDowell Valley AVA is a small winegrowing region with an elevation of about 300 meters. While McDowell enjoys cooler climate than it's neighboring wine regions, it has a warm climate, which makes it ideal for its famous Rhône varietals, such as Syrah, and Grenache as well as Zinfandel. Some of oldest Syrah and Grenache vines in California can be found here!