Santa Ynez Valley
The SYV is the overarching appellation that, until very recently, has housed all of the other appellations mentioned here. The old Sanford Pinot Noirs were labeled Santa Ynez Valley. Prior to Prohibition, the valley had as much as 5,000 acres under vine, but it was not until 1969 that commercial viticulture returned to the region.
The long valley is bordered by the Purisima Hills and San Raphael Mountains to the north and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south. As we follow the Santa Ynez River east, the elevation rises approximately 800 feet. At this higher altitude, in north-south running canyons, vineyards experience higher temperature fluctuations between day night, and a warmer overall climate. Highs during the growing season around here are in the 90’s, with lows in 50’s. These big shifts allow for rich wines that retain their structure and acidity from the nighttime coolness.