Santa Maria Valley
The Santa Maria Valley of the Central Coast is a natural funnel-shaped valley opening west to the Pacific Ocean. The elevation of the area ranges from approximately 200 feet at the intersection of Highway 101 and Santa Maria River to approximately 3,200 feet at Tepusquet Peak. The grapes that are grown within the area are on the valley floor at an approximate elevation of 300 feet on the slopes and rolling hillsides up to an elevation of 800 feet. The soils within the area range in texture from sandy loam to clay loam and are free from adverse salts.
Since the valley opens to the ocean, there is no opposition to the sea fog that moves in overnight, engulfing lower-lying vineyards, and often lingering into mid-day. This creates a cool growing environment that features a long growing season and very little rainfall, meaning grapes have extensive time to build flavor on the vine. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc make up the majority of the Santa Maria Valley crops.