A single-minded pursuit of wine quality and a long search of cool climate coastal wine regions suited to growing elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay led us to the Santa Maria Valley, on the Central Coast north of Santa Barbara. We consider this valley unparalleled in its potential for growing world-class grapes for world-class wines.

Vineyards on the hillside at Presqu'ile Winery in Santa Maria, California

Santa Maria Valley has as its hallmark one of the few valleys on the North and South American Pacific Coast that runs transverse to the ocean, funneling cool marine breezes inland. Set between the San Rafael Mountains to the north and the Solomon Hills to the south, this unique feature and reliable California heat produce an unusually long wine-grape growing season and "hang time" (125 days on average). The result is complex wines with intense flavors, and naturally balanced acidity.

Wines of the Santa Maria Valley feature an alluring character known as "Santa Maria spice," a subtle sandalwood note that is derived from the distinctive terroir and hilly terrain formed by ancient sand dunes 200 to 1000 feet in elevation. We have found all the prerequisites for world-class cool climate grapes in this extraordinary micro-environment.

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