San Bernabe is the most centrally located AVA in the Monterey region, with about 5,000 acres cultivated with grapes. There are a wide variety of microclimates in the AVA, which allows growers to farm a number of different varietals. For whites, Chardonnay is big in the region, but they also grow Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Malvasia. With reds, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Sangiovese are all well suited to the area. Another element that lends to such variety in the area is the unusual sandy soil composition. Predominately sandy soils drain extremely well. Thus, the vineyards can make use of irrigation to control the vigor of the vines.