Arroyo Seco AVA
Literally translated Arroyo Seco means “dry creek”. Recognized for distinct climatic and soil conditions, the Arroyo Seco is a unique part of Monterey County's Salinas Valley. Granted its American Viticultural Area (AVA) status in 1983, the region is a dramatic corridor that, from the west, begins in a steep, narrow gorge at the foot of the Santa Lucia mountain range. Moving east, the canyon widens and eventually opens to the Salinas Valley. The drastic variations of topography contribute to a variety of microclimates and soil types.
Throughout the Salinas Valley, the afternoon Pacific Ocean breeze cools the region and slows grape development which ultimately intensifies the fruit flavors. In the Arroyo Seco AVA, the relative close proximity to, and "open" exposure to, maritime influences heighten these aspects. The grapes are pushed to the brink and the result is fruit laden with character. In addition, the valley is composed of palm-sized stones. These riverbed stones are referred to as “Greenfield Potatoes” and provide adequate drainage for the vines’ root system, as well as retain warmth captured from the sun which helps prevent the vines from freezing during frigid nights.
The Arroyo Seco provides ideal geography and conditions for a variety of grapes but with the region's exposure to maritime conditions we find the most compelling sites for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. We believe that the conditions present within the Arroyo Seco AVA produce great wines because the vineyards are inherently stressed, and thereby the vines are truly at the Mercy of Mother Nature.
For more information on the appellation visit the Arroyo Seco Winegrowers website.