Following the Wednesday post about climate, which here in Dry Creek Valley gives us great weather to grow everything from Chardonnay to Zinfandel, today’s topic is micro climates found within each area of our vineyard.
Climate brings to the weather plate the following: fog, sunshine and a number of degree days for the growing season (Dry Creek Valley being ranked a Region II which makes a warm but not hot growing area), and rain. Climate affects all areas of agriculture or even your own backyard.
A micro climate encompasses a certain vineyard or even vineyard block. We have three specific ranches with a variety of varietals planted. While the climate influences what we plant, the micro climate of a hillside dictates to us (with 88 years of grape growing experience) that Zinfandel, for example, is a good fit because the conditions are just right. The combination of the sun, fog and soil makes the best Zinfandel in our opinion with support of the microclimate.
We have planted other wine grapes on different areas of our vineyards and have learned the conditions weren’t quite right. We planted Chardonnay in the northern warmer end of Dry Creek Valley and learned Cabernet Sauvignon was the better choice and now thrives there. We depend on our growers in the southern cooler end of the valley to grow our Chardonnay now. Microclimates are varietals’ best friend bringing out the great qualities in our grapes. Cheers with a splash of Chardonnay in my Dino.
The fog during the growing season is a key factor of climate and micro climate in our Sangiovese vineyard.