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The Impact of Climate on Wild Horse Valley Wine Production

The climate of Wild Horse Valley is a very cold by Napa Valley standards. This is due to the region’s elevated location in the Vaca Hills. The valley floor of the AVA sits at about 1,400 feet above sea level.

Winds that originate from the San Pablo Bay and Pacific Ocean sweep through the region from the west. Winds from Suisun Bay cool the Solano side of the AVA. On average, the region gets 35 inches of rain a year.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the main grapes planted in this cool climate. Heron Lake Winery produces a small amount of premium Pinot from their vineyard in the AVA. They also sell Chardonnay to Newton Vineyard, which is located in St Helena. Some Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese are also grown in the AVA.

Harrington Winery sources Pinot Noir from Birkmyer Vineyard in Wild Horse Valley. This wine was aged in French oak for 10 months. It has a floral, spicy nose with ripe cranberry flavors. It finishes with Wild Horse Valley’s distinctive minerality. Based in the City of Berkeley, Harrington also sources Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, and Chalone.

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