Paso Robles AVA

With approximately 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 200 wineries, Paso Robles AVA is the largest geographic appellation in California. Its climate is influenced by proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the Templeton Gap. On a cool evening marine airflow moves East through the Gap keeping days sunny and warm and evenings cool. Such conditions bring a long growing season allowing fruit to mature and reach optimal ripeness. Heaviest rainfall occurs between January and March. Wine grape varieties grown in the area include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Roussane, Voignier, Zinfandel, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

El Pomar District

Halcyon Vineyards is situated in the El Pomar District sub-AVA, right at the dead center of the Grand Paso Robles AVA. It is nominally East, between Paso Robles and Atascadero. The topography is high, older terraces, which fans between hills and at elevations of 740 – 1,600 feet.

Soils of this sub appellation are quaternary alluvial soils, well developed loams to clay loams, some calcareous, with Monterey formation sand stone and silt stone at depth in some areas. Halcyon’s soil is mostly calcareous.

Halcyon Vineyards are planted on rolling hills, solar and compass aspects are taken into consideration with these plantings. The area is especially open to different sources of air movement that influence climate. Primarily the Templeton Gap effect ushers in a cooling influence from the Pacific Ocean, over and through the Santa Lucia range.

This relatively cool climate is ideal for several Bordeaux varieties of wine grapes, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot as well as suitable for Rhône varieties like Syrah and Grenache.

Many of these soils have calcareous shale fragments, with secondary lime deposited as wind and rain helped to erode and move soil over time. The moderate alkaline soils are excellent for growing wine grapes, which eventually lead to great natural acidity in the wines.

The El Pomar District has ideal conditions for premium wine grapes, with shallow to moderate soil rooting depths, moderate water stress, modest nutrient levels, and the cool climate leading to the development of complex fruit flavors.

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