A Conflicted Land Produces Consistently High-quality Wine

Posted: Dec 09, 2020

Nestled between Northern California’s Santa Lucia Mountain Range and coastal Big Sur sits a conflicted land. The warm Pacific sun and maritime climate ushers abundance into the quiet farming community. Yet, each afternoon merciless winds driven by the powerful ocean, disrupt the landscape’s serenity. This is the Santa Lucia Highlands.

Native son John Steinbeck pinned in a 1933 letter to George Albee, “I think I would like to write the story of this whole valley, of all the little towns and all the farms and the ranches in the wilder hills. I can see how I would like to do it so that it would be the valley of the world.”

Although the region has yet to achieve “valley of the world” status, it’s abundant agricultural production dating back to the 1800’s earned it the name: “America’s Salad Bowl.”

Today, vineyards join small family agricultural farms in this untamed coastal region, with many families engaged in both enterprises. Adam Lee, owner and winemaker of Clarice Wine Company, sees topographical similarities between the highlands and Burgundy. And yet, it is the highland’s topography that prevents its commercial growth. Vineyards dot the undulating bench lands and mesas, rising above the surrounding arroyos like fingers.

By Michelle Williams
Source and complete article by: forbes.com

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