The Terroir

Terroir, that enigmatic French word for which there is no true English translation is difficult to define. The amalgam of soil, temperature, rainfall, sunlight, altitude, aspect, and slope, ‘terroir’ attempts to roll all of these characteristics into one neat word. Terroir determines whether a grape variety will or will not be successful in a given viticultural area. The Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, where Cimarone grapes are cultivated and cared for, is characterized by hot days and cool nights, steep slopes, and limited rainfall. The soil is rich in magnesium as exemplified by the preponderance of green serpentine rocks that clutter the vineyards, but low in other nutrients yielding lean vines which produce superior fruit. Loam and clay loam along with red and yellow chert round out the soil profile.

The terroir lends beautifully to the cultivation of Bordeaux and Rhone grapes varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah…all of which you will find in our wines.