Paicines received its designation as an AVA in 1982. Sitting on 42,882 acres, Paicines is a sub-appellation of the San Benito AVA. The proposal for this appellation came from the Almaden winery which operates in the area. The name Paicines was well documented as having been in use, including the name of the town in the center of the region. Confusingly enough, the original name of the unincorporated town was Tres Pinos which switched names with the original town of Paicines located further south down Airline Highway.
The Paicines that we are discussing is located east of Pinnacles National Park and takes its name originally from the Rancho Cienega de los Paicines (still in operation today as Paicines Ranch) a land that was granted in the 1840s. Reports indicate that viticulture in the area began as early as the mid-1850s.
The soil of the region consists of a sandy loam which include alluvial deposits and feature fanned materials and benches which may act as natural terraces. The temperature is akin to that of the high desert and often will see daily temperatures north of 100 degrees in the peak of the growing season. As the sun sets, the temperature will drop dramatically, sometimes by as much as 40 degrees as cool Pacific air sweeps into the region. The Paicines region tends not to feature fogs associated with that marine air. Though on days that are particularly foggy some will move into the valley and will linger longer that surrounds regions. Without this swing in temperatures, the region would be too hot to produce vines. The diurnal shift and fog allows the grapes will cool off and extend its growing season. Grapes will stay on the vine longer than in neighboring AVAs. The region is known for producing Arneis, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Syrah.
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