The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco, has been associated to Mark Twain. Whether he actually uttered those famous words is up for debate, but madness is not. Those words reflect the frigid summer fog of the Sf Bay Area.
It's that same fog, much towards the consternation of most San Francisco tourists, which also blankets many of California's great wine growing regions most summer mornings until about noon. The fog, and resulting cool climate, plays an enormous role in creating some of California's best wines, actually some of probably the most effective wines in the earth.
Cool Temps Equals Cool Wines
Due because of their close proximity to large bodies of water, wine regions closest to the coast tend to have a more maritime climate, a weather that includes cooling influences from the Pacific Ocean. These climates help produce lighter-bodied, tart and refreshing wines from grapes that thrive in cooler, cloud covered coastal climates.
For example, the Pacific fog plays a dominant role in the climate of both the Anderson and Russian River valleys. The rain-fed waterways in these regions swell in the winter months and provide vital irrigation to the area's vineyards during the late-spring dry season. Then in summer, fog often blankets the valleys with low hanging cool air, creating ideal growing conditions for cool-climate grape varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
Long on the Vine, Better the Wine
Besides impacting the general climate in the given growing region or area, San fran fog helps produce any of the most stunning and complex wines in California with near pinpoint accuracy. Fog-creating cool ocean breezes deliver cool mornings throughout the award winning wine facets of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. In summertime, these cool mornings, which are prime growing time upon the vine, allow grapes maximum sun exposure with minimum risk of 'over boiling hot.'
Toward most evenings, cool breezes return, the intense summertime warmth of time is alleviated and the grapes are cooled. This daily ritual produces optimum growing conditions during the day and nearly halts slow-cooking during the night, thereby allowing to secure a long, slow ripening certain time. This unique summertime cycle limits the risk of over ripeness or 'baked' flavors involving grapes it really is not simply the foundation, but the heart within the complex flavors of California Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Celebrate the Fog
It's no wonder, then, that grape growers and winemakers alike celebrate the mystical powers that fog wields previously creation of great tasting wines. Out of the Foggy Bridge and Adrian Fog wineries to the Fog Crest and Fog Dance vineyards, there are a lot of naming tributes scattered the actual world wine commerce.
But if haven't experienced San Francisco Bay Area fog firsthand, you appreciate its
resulting delights with a glass of Fog Head, Fog Bank or Fog Mountain wine. And perhaps
no vino is more aptly named or better captures the power and spirit of the fog than
Wente's Morning Fog Chardonnay. Wine notes read:
Each summer morning, fog billows inland through the Golden Gate, pushed by Pacific wind
streams in the bowl within the San Francisco Bay. Here, it forms deep fog banks.cooling
the air as it really is. This daily phenomenon creates the Mediterranean or Marine climate
found in less than 1% of earth's land big.and ideal for growing wine grapes that
are beautifully balanced.