(From «nv» Vintage) The Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Valley runs west to east permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley. In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are essential to the developement of Pinot Noir providing the necessary acid/sugar balance. In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection.