Guest Blog from VP of Vineyard Ops, Lino Bozzano: Hang-time

Copy-of-Dan-Holmes-Pictures-Summer-2009-017It is always assumed that California is the land of the endless summer. Everybody lives at the beach, hangs out in swimsuits and swims in the warm ocean. However, the fact is California’s coastal climates are inverse to what most people think. Our winters are warm and our summers cool. The long growing season at Laetitia provides the ideal “hang-time” for growing delicate varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

“Hang-time” is the concept of how long the grapes stay on the vine, and in general the longer the hang-time, the better. Laetitia is 3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean; most of our vineyards have ocean views. A typical summer day starts with foggy mornings where the sun poke emerges between 9-10AM and we get a few hours of cool sunshine with temperatures in the low to mid 70’s. By 1:30-2PM, the winds start to blow from the Northwest, bringing cool ocean air into the beaches and in our case the vineyards with temperatures in the mid to high 60’s. The winds LaetitiaVineyard-29blow out the marine layer giving much needed sunshine to the grapes, at the same time these winds blow in surface air off the ocean (which is usually 58°F). These cool winds enter the vineyard and immediately cool off the grapes, allowing them to grow slowly creating intense colors and flavors.

While the beach goers may be down in Pismo Beach shivering on the sand, these Northwest winds are the saving grace for the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay here at Laetitia, allowing us to grow full-flavored wines of interest and intensity.

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