Bridlewood Estate Winery’s location in California’s Central Coast gives us access to a broad range of vineyard sources for our wines. The diversity of the terrain in these coastal vineyards creates perfect conditions for each of the wines we make. The Central Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA) stretches 250 miles along California's coast from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Hundreds of vineyards dot the coastline, each with its own climate, soil and history. Bound together by a single defining characteristic - proximity to the Pacific Ocean - the vineyards of the Central Coast are turning out unforgettable wines.
California’s Central Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA) covers a vast area, including 30 sub-AVAs. Stretching down the Pacific Coast for 250 miles from San Francisco Bay to Santa Barbara, the region produces 15% of California’s winegrapes and is home to more than 350 wineries. The area’s ocean influence and unusual configuration of bays, mountains and valleys create a variety of growing conditions. Warm days and cool nights are the norm over much of the region.
Monterey County encompasses nine AVAs and 40,000 acres of vineyards. The area sees a great deal of sun and very little rain, resulting in a long growing season. Monterey Bay on the Pacific Ocean funnels in cooling ocean influences, including periodic morning and evening fogs. The result is a long, slow, growing and ripening process that results in smaller grape berries with concentrated flavors. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir lead production, with Riesling, Merlot, Syrah and some Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA comprises a long narrow strip of land in upper Monterey County on the western edge of the Salinas River. The AVA (site of Olson Ranch) has a decidedly cool climate, both because of the coastal ocean influence and because of its generally high elevation, over 2,000 feet in some areas. The crests of the mountains between the Highlands and the ocean create a rain shadow, resulting in no more than 12 inches of rain annually. Strong afternoon winds serve to keep the climate cool and avoid large temperature fluctuations. This unique terroir yields grapes of outstanding quality that are used in our award-winning Chardonnay.
Occupying a large region around the city of Paso Robles in Northern San Luis Obispo County, the Paso Robles AVA is extremely varied, producing more than 40 different winegrape varieties on 26,000 acres of vineyards, including the famous Sunnybrook Ranch. The AVA is known for substantial day-to-night temperature swings and long, rain-free harvest seasons. Vineyards are located at a range of elevations from 700 to about 2,000 feet above sea level.
The Santa Ynez Valley, home to Bridlewood Estate Winery, achieved renown with the popularity of the film Sideways. The valley occupies an unusual east-west corridor; and nearly the entire region enjoys cooling ocean influence at night. The result is a wide variety of vineyard sites, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay flourishing in the Santa Rita Hills to the west, and Bordeaux and Rhone varietals in the warmer areas further to the east. Approximately 2,000 acres are planted to vine.