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Cool-Climate California

The Santa Lucia Highlands appellation boasts the unique combination of abundant sunshine and a truly cool climate. One of the world’s biggest submarine canyons (appropriately nicknamed The Blue Grand Canyon) lies just offshore at the mouth of Monterey Bay. This canyon’s 300 cubic miles of cold, deep-sea water exerts a powerful influence on the Monterey Bay weather, bringing fog and maritime winds that funnel into our winegrowing areas nearly every day, at nearly the same time.

These afternoon winds moderate the pace of photosynthesis and prevent the abundant morning sunshine from rushing the grapes along. While budbreak is early (typically February or March), the fruit matures slowly to full phenolic ripeness in late September or October due to the cooling winds and fog from the Monterey Bay. The result: rich, silky and vibrant wines that are delicious at release, and able to go the distance in the cellar.