Coastal Breezes Meet Inland Warmth

The Central Coast Region includes the Zinfandel growing areas of Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County (including Paso Robles), Edna Valley, and Santa Barbara. Each of these areas contains vineyards that share the effects of coastal breezes, which moderate the warmth of the summer and early fall. Within the region, each AVA experiences micro-climates from a “thermal rainbow™” in Monterey spreading north-to-south, to  coastal fog, and inland valley heat.

Most of the soil here is rocky and gravelly, with loam throughout. Paso Robles has predominantly calcareous soils and the high soil pH values of 7.4 to 8.6; with a longer growing season, this helps to develop fully mature fruit whose acid chemistry maintains balance during the cool nights. A little south, the soils are lean and shallow, quickly yielding to hard bedrock which brings beneficial stress to the region’s grapevines.

Zinfandel was first planted in the Central Coast by the mid-1880’s, and the region has a long history of winemaking dating back to the advent of the missionaries in the 18th century.

The American Viticultural Areas of Arroyo Grande Valley, Arroyo Seco, Carmel Valley, Central Coast, Chalone, Cienega Valley, Edna Valley, Hames Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, Monterey, Mt. Harlan, Pacheco Pass, Paicines, Paso Robles, San Antonio Valley, San Benito, San Bernabe, San Lucas, San Ysidro, Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, and York Mountain are all found within the Central Coast region.


Wines from this region exhibit rich, fruity character, from big, late harvest style wines to more forward, lighter, claret-style Zinfandels which include notes of spice, herbs, and cherries. These are rich wines, with intense blackberry and pepper, and the earthy quality of the fragrant forest floor. Wild berries, smoke, and toast are some of the more unique descriptors used for the aromas of Central Coast Zinfandel, and flavors commonly cited are cranberries, raspberries, sage, and spice.

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