Located 120 miles south of San Francisco and 345 miles north of
Los Angeles, District 7, aka Monterey County, is a growing region like
no other. The maritime influence and afternoon breezes coming off Monterey Bay present ideal conditions for growing top notch wine grapes. The unique features of Monterey place it on par with the best growing regions of the world.
California Growing Districts & District 7
The 17 grape crush districts of California were originally mapped when Section 55600 of the California Food and Agriculture Code, also known as the "Clare Berryhill Grape Crush Report Act of 1976", was enacted. Section 55601.5 of the Code requires every processor who crushes grapes in California to report certain information to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Details of the crushed tonnage, degrees Brix, and weighted average prices are reported by grape type, variety, and grape pricing district. The information gathered is used to create the Grape Crush Report which is published annually by the State of California and is a crucial tool for wineries and growers.
Unique Features of District 7: Monterey
Located 120 miles south of San Francisco and 345 miles north of Los Angeles, District 7 is a growing region like no other. The distinct geography and unique geology of Monterey make it keenly suited to cultivating top-notch wine grapes. Flanked by the Gabilan mountain range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the west, the 90-mile long 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 fog and chilled marine air down its corridor. These morning fogs often linger until mid-day. In the afternoon, the dependable winds come howling down the vineyard corridor starting at about 2 p.m. The combination of morning fog and afternoon winds results in a cooling down effect that slows photosynthesis and allows grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly. It is why the growing season in District 7 can be up to two months longer than other wine growing districts.
Growers like to call the length of the growing season “hang time”. Increased hang time allows for full flavor development and intense fruit flavors in the wines. Just as important, the cool temperatures of District 7 keep acidity high.
The unique confluence of geography and geology allows us to seek the “sweet spot” each vintage, harvesting the District 7 grapes at the ideal intersection of flavor, ripeness and acidity.