Pacheco Pass Climate & Wine Production
The Impact of Climate on Pacheco Pass Wine Production
Because of its elevated location near the San Francisco Bay, the Pacheco Pass AVA is very windy. There is a large wind farm at the top of the pass that supplies power to the local electrical grid.
During summer, day time highs are usually between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. A few days may rise above 100 degrees, but this is quite rare. Rainfall is very low in the AVA and is usually less than 10 inches a year. During the growing season, it is very unusual for it to rain. Most of this precipitation occurs between November and April.
The region is on the border of more extreme temperatures. To the east, the San Joaquin Valley has much hotter summers and colder winters. Because of the moderate climate of Pacheco Pass, spring frost rarely hurts the grapes. This is definitely an issue in the San Joaquin Valley.
Zanger Vineyards grows several different grapes in this climate. They make good Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in a decidedly unpretentious style. These are not the expensive wines of Napa and Sonoma, but they have an appeal that fits well with the laidback atmosphere of Pacheco Pass.
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