Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive in the Ste. Nicolaus vineyard, which was planted in 1994. The vineyard’s eastern-facing slopes enjoy generous morning sun and the soils are rocky and well-drained, challenging the vines to yield grapes of depth, character and intensity.
Arroyo Seco AVA
One of the smallest AVAs in California, Arroyo Seco also boasts one of the longest growing seasons.
Arroyo Seco’s warm, sunny days are followed by chilly afternoon winds that sweep across the Salinas Valley from Monterey Bay. This dramatic daily cooling keeps the grapes on the vines well into the season, intensifying varietal character while keeping acid levels high. The Arroyo Seco River – an eastward-flowing tributary of the Salinas River – cuts a narrow gorge into the Santa Lucia mountains. The AVA features large river stones (Greenfield Potatoes) that absorb heat during the day and radiate it back in the evenings, warming the vines through the cold nights. Arroyo Seco – which translates to “dry creek” – has one of the longest growing seasons in California, perfect for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Ste. Nicolaus Vineyard
Ste. Philippe Vineyard
Ste. Philippe sits on the valley floor in a dry riverbed with sandy-loam soils. Pinot Noir excels here, as do Merlot and Grenache, getting enough sunshine to fully ripen yet also benefitting from cool coastal influences that slow photosynthesis and lengthen the growing season.