Climate - Soils - Terroir
San Pablo Bay and the Petaluma Gap act as conduits, funneling chilled air and fog into the Sonoma Valley trough via the San Francisco Bay. Warm days and cool nights mean Nicholson Ranch vineyards have climatic conditions that enable the production of elegant red varietals, and fresh whites. The clonal and soil diversity of the vineyards allows the winemaker to constantly evolve and adapt techniques not only from vintage to vintage but also parcel by parcel, a practice that is ultimately critical to the complexity and differentiation of each wine.
With an average of 29 inches of rainfall a year, Sonoma Valley is one the driest areas in Sonoma County. The mountain ranges on either side isolate the Valley, allowing in just enough coastal fog to cool the vineyards on summer nights. Predominantly southerly winds off San Pablo Bay also moderate temperatures that extend the growing season.
During the day, as the sun heats up the vineyards and mountainsides of Napa Valley to the north, the rising hot air draws cool air and fog from San Pablo Bay. The intrusion of fog over Carneros in the early afternoon moderates the vineyard temperatures, providing just the right conditions for growing cool-climate varietals with crisp acidity and moderate sugar levels.
Nicholson Ranch wines have a style all of their own and each one has been influenced by a diverse range of elements that begin in the vineyards, elements we refer to as “the true sense of place”.