Livermore Valley Terroir
Livermore Valley is the only winegrowing region in northern California with an east-west orientation rather than a north-south one. The valley is 15 miles long, east to west, 10 miles wide, north to south, and about 400 feet above sea level. It is surrounded by coastal range mountains and foothills, while its western edge, only 17 miles from the innermost reaches of the San Francisco Bay, lies open to the marine influences of cool ocean fog and breezes. This geographic condition results in warm afternoons and cool evenings, the ideal climate for producing long-hanging, fully-ripened fruit.
Grapes grown in the Livermore Valley are as close to the cooling source of marine influence as Napa, and the valley’s degree-days are comparable to the St. Helena section of Napa Valley. The region is quite arid, averaging only about twelve inches per year.
Livermore Valley soils are primarily gravelly with excellent drainage and only moderate vigor, permitting flavor concentration in the fruit, without excessive leaf and shoot growth. Growers and vintners are agreed that the valley is ideal for red and white Bordeaux varieties – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion.