Monterey County is legendary for its breathtaking views and incredible wildlife.  The way that weather, earth, and ocean combine together make it a dream come true for nature lovers or anyone who just wants to slip away into the area’s quixotic charms.   These three elements also make the region a world-class spot for growing wine grapes.  Diverse soil types, varying amounts of wind and fog, as well as generally increasing summertime highs from north to south, mean the appellation has the ability to produce a wide variety of wines.   Warmer climate varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, grow very well in the Carmel Valley and at the southern end of the region, while cooler climate varietals, like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, thrive throughout the northern end of the appellation.

Over the next week, we’ll feature a brief profile of the different A.V.A’s (American Viticulture Areas), that make up the Monterey wine-growing region.  Today’s area is the Carmel Valley.

The Carmel Valley is an ideal location for growing Broadax varietals with cooling ocean breezes, chalky-limestone soils, and above average rainfall for the appellation.  It’s position, up above the fog line, leads to a warmer overall climate than the other northern AVA’s, with summertime temperatures reaching into the 100’s.  Yet, still being in close proximity to the coast allows the vine to experience nighttime temperatures that dip into the upper 30’s.  These grand swings in temperature allow the grapes to spend more time on the vines and the ability to develop more complexity.