The Climate of Santa Rita Hills
Grape Development in the Climate of Santa Rita Hills Wine Country
West of Highway 101, Highway 246 runs through Santa Rita Valley and leads to the town of Lompoc. Temperatures are quite chilly in this low lying area. The climate is much cooler than the rest of Santa Ynez Valley east of Highway 101.
Coastal fog creeps through the Santa Rita Valley and Hills overnight and in the early morning. This cools the grapes, retaining acidity and restraining sugar development. Grapes are able to develop longer on the vine without becoming unbalanced.
During summer, temperatures are usually less than 60 degrees in the morning, and rise to the 80s by mid afternoon. The Santa Rita Hills is a cool Region I on the UC Davis Heat Summation Scale.
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