Located 100 miles north of San Francisco, Mendocino County features a much cooler climate than Sonoma County, its neighbor to the south. Its average growing season is 268 days, compared to the 308 day growing season in Sonoma. In the past, Mendocino has been known for its jug wine production, although newer wineries are making the region well known for elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The appellation designation encompasses all of the AVAs within Mendocino county, including Anderson Valley, Cole Ranch, McDowell Valley, Mendocino Ridges, Potter Valley and Redwood Valley. Its soils vary from alluvial soils to gravelly loam and scree, depending on the vineyard location.
Popular grapes grown here include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.