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The Effect of Climate on Green Valley Grape Growing

The growing season is very long, and many vineyards are not harvested until mid to late October. Fog reaches the AVA from the south through the Petaluma Gap. It tends to denser as well as linger till later in the day than it does throughout the larger Russian River Valley AVA.

The coastal region is usually under a blanket of fog until the late morning. This fact is one of the larger contributions to the region’s very cool climate. Occasionally, summer days can get quite warm.

The region has been a leader in experimenting with different clones of cool weather varietals; notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel are grown to a lesser degree.

Pinot Noir from the AVA is known for smooth tannins, spice and vibrant fruit flavors and aromas. Many have distinctive mineral notes and tart citrus flavors. The Pinot Noir grape loves the region’s long growing season. Grapes are often left to hang on the vine to continue flavor development even when the brix scale reads that the sugars are at the right level. Vintners in the region need to have an intimate knowledge of their vineyards to balance this process.

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