Vineyards Calera’s vineyards soar at an average of 2200 feet above sea level and are cooled by the direct flow of cold marine air off the Pacific Ocean through the Monterey Bay coast, towards the upper elevations of the Gavilan Mountain range and Mt. Harlan. The elevation further moderates the climate in what many expect would be a hot growing region reducing the temperature about three degrees for every 1000 feet of height in elevation.
In 2008 California Certified Organic Farmers bestowed their certification on Calera for its organic farming practices. Like much of California the summer growing season is very dry which reduces the need for pesticides. Instead, beneficial insects to reduce pest bug populations, compost mixtures to enhance the organic content of the mountain soils, and cover crop methods to improve soil nutrient levels are natural ways to combat any viticultural problems. A dedicated vineyard crew makes multiple trips through the vines on a daily basis to ensure appropriate vineyard management to produce the best fruit possible. The fruit of their labor is precious with crops rarely exceeding two tons per acre, emphasizing quality over quantity.
“Josh Jensen has been farming pinot noir in the limestone soils of Mount Harlan since the 1970s. His deep-rooted vines now produce some of the most compelling and complex pinot noirs in the New World.” – Wine & Spirits Magazine ‘Top 100 Wineries’
“Calera’s fanatical commitment to traditional Burgundian methods of viticulture, enology and barrel selection yield fruit and wines of such high character that this property more than any other California property deserves to be recognized as Grand Cru." – The Underground Wine Journal
Mt. HARLAN WHITE VARIETALS
Aligote Two rows in Jensen and four in the Chardonnay vineyard, only 330 vines. An easy drinking white variety from Burgundy it offers a juicy, tart wine with notes of apple blossom and gooseberry.
Viognier (2.2 acres of original planting in 1983 plus an additional 3.1 acres planted in 1989) In 1983 the first acreage of Viognier was some of the first Viognier planted in California. The south-facing limestone slope created conditions in which the Viognier had to struggle but the payoff was worthwhile. Today is produces very low yields that offer up concentration and intense aromatics but still with a characteristic minerality rarely found in this grape elsewhere in California.
Chardonnay (6.1 acres) The Mt. Harlan Chardonnay Vineyard was planted in 1984 on the same south facing slope as the Mills Pinot Noir. This vineyard was planted on its own roots using plant material from stray Chardonnay vines that were found interspersed among the Pinot vines of the original vineyards. Each year this vineyard yields only slightly more than 2 tons per acre of very intense flavorful Chardonnay fruit. Leaner and more mineral than a typical California Chardonnay the wines carry a creamy texture and a leanness that are unique due to the limestone soil.
Central Coast Each year Calera purchases Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from growers throughout the Central Coast Region of California to be made into Calera’s two Central Coast wines. The vineyard sources for these wines have remained fairly consistent, however small quantities of fruit from new or newly available vineyards are included almost every year, with a constant eye toward the best possible quality. Some of these vineyards include:
Besson Vineyard – Santa Clara County
Bien Nacido Vineyards – Santa Barbara County
Cienega Valley Vineyards – San Benito County
Lone Oak Vineyard – Monterey County
Pedregal Vineyards – San Benito County
Sierra Madre Vineyards – Santa Barbara County
Talley Vineyard – San Luis Obispo County
Zabala Vineyards – Monterey County
Bien Nacido Vineyard - Santa Barbara County
Chula Viña Vineyard – Monterey County
Doctor's Vineyard - Monterey County
Flint Vineyard – San Benito County
Laetitia Vineyard – San Luis Obispo County
Pedregal Vineyard – San Benito County
Sierra Madre Vineyard – Santa Barbara County
Solomon Hills Vineyard – Santa Barbara County