Situated close to the ocean at 1,600' elevation, cool fog and ocean air is drawn in from the coast at night and burns off in the morning. This cooling effect provides a longer growing season which lends intensity and character unique to coastal hillside vineyards. Because of its unique microclimate, the York Mountain area has been granted its own AVA. Surrounded by oak forests, Shadow Canyon is one of only a handful of vineyards located in the York Mountain Viticulture area which was established in 1983. Approximately 8 miles from the coast in the middle of the Templeton Gap, the corridor running West to the ocean which has a significant affect on the York Mountain growing region. Warm days yield to cool nights as the fog rolls in from the ocean. Temperature swings from the 80's and 90's during the day to the 40's at night are common. The cool night air slows the vines maturation, allowing for a long growing season.

The York mountain terroir is ideally suited to syrah and grenache. Five different syrah clones were chosen to add complexity to the finished wines, the Alban clone was chosen for our 1 ½ acre grenache block. The clones were matched with rootstock to ensure the highest quality fruit. Fruit is hand pruned and hand harvested. We closely monitor the vines throughout the year, dropping imperfect clusters and only harvesting the healthiest grapes. Typically, yields have been kept down to around 2 tons per acre.

When the grapes arrive at the winery, we use three sorting tables to help select only the best fruit. First, we use a vibrating table to sort imperfect clusters. Next we gently destem the clusters onto our "Le Trieur" vibrating screen, which eliminates stems and shot berries. Finally, the fruit is moved onto a belt table where we do our final hand sorting of individual berries. Fermentation takes place in our custom built jacketed tanks which are 7 1/2' wide and 4 1/2' tall. This gives us a 1:2 ratio of juice to must, allowing gentle fruit extraction and helping to tame the tannins inherent in the York Mountain fruit. We punch down/pump over the cap to extract flavors based on taste.