“Great wine begins in the vineyard”
A truism if ever there was one. It is indisputable that wine quality is inextricably linked to where the grapes are grown. The balance of ripeness and acidity, and the interplay between aroma and flavor, are largely determined by climate.
Flanked by the Gabilan mountain range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the west, the Salinas Valley maintains its cool coastal conditions due to the influence of the Monterey Bay. Under these waters lies the deepest submarine gorge on the west coast of the United States, known as the Monterey Canyon. As massive as the Grand Canyon, this steep, twisting phenomenon almost perfectly bisects the seafloor of the Bay and causes a condition called upwelling. Upwelling brings the frigid water of the deep sea to the surface, cooling the marine air that hovers over the Monterey coast. Each day, the rising hot air from the Salinas Valley pulls the chilled marine air down its corridor. This cooling down effect allows grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly, resulting in a growing season which can be up to two months longer than other wine growing regions. Winegrowers call this lengthening of the growing season "hang time.” Increased hang time leads to exceptional wines that exhibit intense fruit flavors, deep color extraction, and full varietal expression.
Our twelve estate vineyards are located along a 70-mile spread of the Salinas Valley, encompassing four primary climate zones. The unique geography of Monterey County and the diversity of our estate vineyards allow us to grow many different varieties in a spectrum of styles. Each of our 39 varietals is planted in the location or locations that is best-suited to expressing the highest quality for that grape.