Lime Kiln Valley received its designation as an AVA in 1982 but has been home to vineyards since 1887. Vine cuttings were brought from France and from mission vineyards.
Situated on 2,300 acres, Lime Kiln Valley is located in San Benito County. The valley has been known for its kilns before 1900. The county formally named the valley in the 1970s. The soil of the region consists of fine limestone and dolomite base, with top layers of sand and gravel loam above.
The climate of the valley is noted for having less precipitation than the land at higher elevations but slightly more than the greater Cienega Valley. The valley floor averages 16 inches per year instead of 40 inches up in the mountains and 15 inches in other valley zones.
Lime Kiln Valley has a mild diurnal cycle; the region has bright sunny days and moderate evenings. Average temperatures in the valley are cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer than the surrounding areas.
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