Dominated by a single winery, the McDowell Valley AVA is a tiny, high-sloping bench land that sits up to 1,000 feet above sea level. Overlooking the Russian River to the west, this little 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. McDowell Valley Vineyards specializes in Rhone red varietals like Grenache and Syrah (as well as Zinfandel), some coming from century-old vineyards. Characterful white Rhone varietals like Marsanne and Viognier complement the roster of big flavorful reds.