Long Valley Ranch
With outstanding style and structure, their wines are a direct reflection of their vineyards
The great Salinas Valley is also known as the Long Valley, a name coined by writer John Steinbeck due to its nearly 100-mile length. Cradled between the Gabilan and Santa Lucia mountain ranges, this bountiful stretch was carved out by the Salinas River millions of years ago and holds some of the world’s richest farm and vineyard land. These estate vineyards have been farmed for over 40 years in the Long Valley by the same family who consider Long Valley ranch as a true gift from Mother Nature.
For sun-loving Cabernet Sauvignon, these estate vineyards are located in the southern reaches of Monterey County, where sunshine-filled days are followed by the cooling maritime influence in the late afternoons.
The long growing season of Monterey County allows the grapes stay on the vine until that ideal moment when they have reached full flavor development. Longer time on the vine means the grapes ripen slowly and evenly. Long Valley Ranch is a perfect example of this and the style and structure of the resulting wines are a direct reflection of the estate vineyards’ unique landscape of the Monterey appellation.
Dave Nagengast - Winemaker
A long time participant of the winemaking art, Dave Nagengast has proved his worth in a number of winemaker’s jobs. Storrs Winery, Mirassou Vineyards and San Martin Winery as well as Scheid Vineyards were all stops for Nagengast. He is a former collegiate discus thrower at Cal State University Fresno from where he holds a degree in Agricultural Science with an emphasis in Enology.
Dave works closely with Greg Gonzalez, the person in charge of tending the Long Valley Ranch’s extensive vineyards. Gonzalez is dedicated to his job (he calls it an obsession) and is also an avid gardener who grew 15 different types of Chilies last year that he gave to friends and neighbors. His favorite quote, “There is no such thing as a typical day in the grape business.”
Monterey County is flanked by the Gabilan mountain range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the west, the 90-mile long Salinas Valley maintains benefit from its cool coastal conditions due to the influence of the Monterey Bay. Under these waters lies the deepest submarine gorge on the West Coast of the United States, known as the Monterey Canyon which almost perfectly bisects the seafloor of the Bay and causes a condition called upwelling.
Upwelling brings the frigid water of the deep sea to the surface, cooling the marine air that hovers over the Monterey coast. Each morning, the rising hot air from the Salinas Valley pulls the fog and chilled marine air down its corridor until midday when its greeted by the dependable afternoon winds that come howling down the vineyards. This combination results in a cooling down effect that allows the grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly.