Illinois is home to two appellations: the Shawnee Hills AVA and the Upper Mississippi Valley AVA. The Shawnee Hills AVA covers about 2,140 square miles and includes much of the Shawnee National Forest. It was the first official AVA in Illinois. The Upper Mississippi Valley AVA includes Northwest Illinois, as well as Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota and Southwest Wisconsin. The nearby Mississippi River provides sloping lands that allows maximum exposure to the sun in the cool climate.