Mount Harlan Wine Country
Calera Wine Company is the only winery in Mount Harlan Wine Country. Owner Josh Jenson brings his considerable Burgundian knowledge of grape growing and winemaking to Calera. He is one of the most accomplished producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the state.
Mount Harlan’s climate is cooled by marine air from Monterey Bay. It rarely rains on Mount Harlan Wineries before November, leading to a very long growing season. Like the Santa Lucia Highlands and Chalone AVAs, the climate resembles the Burgundy region of France.
Mount Harlan’s vineyards are grown on terrain made of limestone soils on primarily east-facing slopes. Reflecting the rarity of this terrain in California, Josh Jenson once remarked, “When you find limestone, it always seems to be at the bottom of a canyon, or in a cliff face on which you couldn’t possibly plant vines.” Needless to say, plantable vineyard sites are highly valued.
The history of local grape growing began in the early 1970s, when Josh Jenson planted his first vineyards. He established his winery in 1975 and harvested his first Mount Harlan grapes in 1978. Mr. Jenson’s rise to prominence has and continues to be an evolutionary one. He is constantly improving his vineyards as well as his winery’s production facility in the nearby town of Hollister. The Federal Government granted Mount Harlan AVA status in 1990.
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