The Climate of Carmel Valley Vineyards
The Differences in Carmel Valley Climate Accounts for the Varietal Diversity of the Region
Carmel Valley is cooler and and recieves more rainfall than Salinas. This has a major impact on the different varietals planted as well as the style of wines produced in these neighboring regions. Most vineyards in the Carmel Valley AVA are planted at relatively high elevations. These vines are exposed to quite a bit of wind and sun.
Coastal parts of the valley are the least protected from wind and fog from the Pacific Ocean. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling are widely planted in these cooler areas. The southeastern part of the valley is quite sheltered and is warmer. This part of the AVA tends to producer fuller bodied wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc are grown in warmer parts of the valley. Joullian Vineyards makes one of the best examples of Sauvignon Blanc from the region. The Carmel River runs west through the AVA from the mountains.
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