Located in the southernmost tip of Monterey County, Hames Valley has its own unique climate. Hames Valley sits at the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountains, with rolling hills dotted with oak trees. Although the region does experience a cooling effect from the Pacific Ocean, its geographic location shelters the vines from the afternoon winds coming down the Salinas Valley corridor. This gives Hames Valley a warmer climate compared to regions to the north.
The Hames Valley AVA enjoys the largest diurnal temperature change of all of the Monterey AVAs. Due to the warm days, grapegrowers in the region have a fine attention to vineyard row direction, trellis design, and canopy management in order to alleviate direct exposure of fruit to the sunlight.
Hames Valley has enjoyed the status of its own AVA since 1994. This region has 10,000 acres suitable for grape growing, with 2,000 acres currently planted. The shale-loam soil found in Hames Valley, combined with its warmer weather, produces grapes with intense, bold flavors. This is an ideal setting for growing signature Rhone varietals.
|Name of AVA:
|Very warm, minor coastal influence.
|Lockwood Shaly Loam, Chamise Shaly Loam