Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay
”The Livermore Valley, with an east-west valley orientation, lies twenty miles east of the San Francisco Bay. The moderating effects of the Bay and the marine climate of the Pacific Ocean entering through the Golden Gate Gap significantly influence the climate of the region. During the growing season, cool and foggy mornings give way to warm midday temperatures. Then, early afternoon breezes and evening fog lower temperatures again, preserving the fruit’s natural acidity. This climactic cycle is beneficial to wine grapes, which need warmth for healthy growth, maturation, and development, and cool nights and mornings to retain delicate flavors.
Though the region is influenced predominantly by this cool marine cycle, the bowl shaped Livermore Valley is over twenty miles in length and has numerous microclimates and varied soil types. The winery’s Estate vineyards are located on sloping hillsides, on ancient stony riverbeds, along fertile valley floors and at the base of steep sandstone cliffs. The microclimate of each of these locations is particularly suited to specific grape varieties. The morning fog that lingers over the valley floor makes it a superb location for Chardonnay, while warmer temperatures in the region’s hillside vineyards allow varietals such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to develop to full maturity. “The incredible diversity of our vineyards allows us to cultivate wines with unique characteristics that tell the story of where they came from, says Fourth Generation Winegrower Phil Wente.