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Cienega Valley

Central Coast

The Cienega Valley AVA located in San Benito County is positioned along the San Andreas fault.

Viticulture in Cienega Valley is largely accredited to the French settler, Theophile Vache, who first planted grapes here in the 1850s. Since the first planting, the history of the area was dominated by the Almaden winery, which purchased vineyards in the region in the 1950s and grew grapes until the company was sold to an international conglomerate in the late 1980s.

The climate of the Cienega Valley is moderate due to the lands protection by the surrounding mountain ranges in both the cool Salinas Valley in the west and the hot Central Valley in the east. The day time warmth is moderated by cooling Montery Bay breezes, and temperatures drop naturally in the evenings. These conditions lead to a long growing season, in which the grapes have a sufficient time to ripen and develop their flavors without losing acidity.

Being positioned along the San Andreas fault gives the Cienega Valley a unique terroir. The famous fault splits the soil profile of the valley into to distinct areas. On the western side of the fault line, the soil is made of granite and limestone, whereas the eastern side is made of granite and sandstone. Although different, both soil types are free draining, restrict vigor and grape yields, and produce excellent berries concentrated with flavor in the Cienega Valley vineyards.

In this wine region are the two Cienega Valley wineries, the DeRose Vineyards and Pietra Santa Winery, which holds one sub-appellation, the Limekiln Valley. Sold at these wineries are the most popular Cienega Valley wines which are: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Zinfandel, and red wine blends made from Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and old-vine Negrette.

We are pleased to offer our members a variety of wines from this region. Enjoy by joining our wine of the month club!

Cienega Valley Wineries