Saving the Vineyards from Urban Sprawl

    Thirty miles east of San Francisco, the Livermore Valley appellation is within the larger Central Coast appellation.

     The Livermore Valley has an east-west orientation, making it unique among northern California winegrowing regions. It is 15 miles long (from east to west), 10 miles wide (from north to south), and surrounded by coastal range mountains and foothills.

     The east-west orientation of the valley allows the coastal fog and marine breezes to come in from the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, and cool the valley’s warm air, resulting in warm days and cool nights – ideal conditions for producing fully-ripened, balanced winegrapes.

     The soil in the region is primarily gravel and has excellent drainage. It’s a soil type that reduces the vines’ vigor and increases flavor concentration in the grapes – and, ultimately, in the wines crafted from those grapes.

     In recent years, urban sprawl has crept up on the vineyards and wineries of the Livermore Valley, but a number of vintners have taken legal steps to protect their land from becoming just another housing tract.


Posted in Wine Region Profiles
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