Terroir. Earth's multidimensional, emotive, expressive, moody art. This artistry isn't limited to the visible sense and a viewer's visual interpretation. It - the soil, climate, exposure, altitude - is expressed in the vines grown there, and the character of the wines they become. Terroir is part of what makes an appellation unique and the reason we designate them.
What makes the Santa Lucia Highlands unique? Is it the location overlooking the Salinas River Valley in the Santa Lucia Mountains of Monterey? The south-east facing mountainside terraces that provide the vines with early morning sun? The long growing season created by the cool climate and oceanic fog provided by the influence from the cold temperatures of Monterey Bay? The moisture provided by the fog? The alluvial, granitic soils? The vineyard owners committed to cultivating the best possible expression of the varietals they grow? It is all of these and more. Why does the unique terroir of the Santa Lucia Highlands produce such wonderful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir? These two varietals love cool climates and long growing seasons. The markedly long growing season in the SLH allows grapes to ripen more slowly which creates more depth of flavor and character in the wines. Rich flavors, enticing aromatics, lusciousness balanced by minerality and acidity.