Yorkville Highlands
Approved in 1998, the Yorkville Highlands AVA is located in southern Mendocino County, about a two hour's drive from San Francisco; it is named for the topography around the eponymous town. Vineyards are situated between 800 and 3000 feet; at this elevation, conditions are perfect for cool climate varieties. Not surprisingly then, Pinot Noir dominates the plantings in the AVA, accounting for more than 60% of total acreage; this is followed by Syrah, Mourvedre and Sauvignon Blanc, along with smaller acreage devoted to Malbec and Merlot. Soils on the hillsides are rocky and gravel-based, limiting yields, resulting in highly concentrated, deeply colored wines (one area producer on his web site points with pride to the "black ink" quality of his wine). Although the Yorkville Highlands is not as well known as some of the other AVAs in Mendocino County, such as Redwood Valley and the neighboring Anderson Valley, the wines are among the finest, especially Syrah, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. (Wine/Appellations)