The Impact of Edna Valley Climate
The Impact of Climate on Edna Valley Grape Growing
Edna Valley has an extremely long growing season with mild temperatures. During summer, day time temperatures are usually in the 70s and night time temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. In contrast to inland regions, the AVA has relatively warm springs and cool summers. Budbreak occurs very early and grapes can hang late in the season with little fear of rain. The entire growing season can last from February into November.
In comparison, harvest rarely occurs later than October 15th in Napa Valley. These extra few weeks on the vine leads to very ripe grapes. Growers that let their grapes hang into November must be keenly aware of acidity and sugar levels. Too much sugar, and wines will be overly alcoholic, flabby, and unbalanced.
During summer, fog regularly moves into the east-west oriented valley overnight. It usually burns off by late morning, and the rest of the day is sunny. Additionally, cool air from Morro Bay often accumulates against the eastern mountains and settles in Edna Valley.
The cool local climate keeps acid levels high while the long growing season allows grapes to ripen fully. Wines have distinctive varietal characteristics and balanced components.
The AVA is home to the famous Edna Valley Vineyard. In 1980, Phil Woodward of the Chalone Wine Group partnered with Jack and Catherine Niven to establish the property. Edna Valley Vineyard which is mainly planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Approximately 120,000 cases a year are made under this label. The wines are aged sur lie in French barrels and undergo malolactic fermentation. These wines are an extremely good value for fans of this style of Chardonnay.
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