The Effect of McDowell Valley Terrain & Soil
Why the Soils of McDowell Valley are Suited for Rhone Varietals
It has been determined that hillside soils are far from ideal for vineyard development. Therefore, vines are concentrated on the valley floor.
The elevation of the valley itself ranges from 725 to 1,000 feet above sea-level. McDowell Valley Creek is the major watershed in the AVA. It runs through the valley and ultimately drains into the Russian River.
Over the years, as rainfall has made its way from the hillsides and valley floor to McDowell Valley Creek, it has given the geology of the AVA an alluvial quality. As a result of this process, soils in the AVA are loamy and well drained. Vineyard roots penetrate deep into the ground. This allows the voluptuous characteristics that Rhone varietals are noted for to develop.
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