J. WILKES AVA’S

The areas we source fruit (the American Viticultural Areas) are the landscape and ‘somewhereness’ that define our wines’ style.

J. Wilkes Wines are blended from the best vineyards on the Central Coast of California, many of which are owned by our family business.  This vertical integration from ground to glass enables us to provide winemaker Wes Hagen an amazing amount of barrels and lots of wine to painstakingly taste and blend into J. Wilkes.

EST 1981

SANTA MARIA VALLEY

34° 57′ 11″ N / 120° 26′ 5″ W

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The Santa Maria Valley appellation is the second oldest appellation in the United States and was established the same year as the Napa Valley AVA distinction; 1981.

Santa Maria Valley is a cool-climate wine production area famed for its quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay since the 1970’s.  Many wine critics consider Santa Maria Valley (SMV) to be the heart and soul of Santa Barbara Wine Country.  The low-nutrient sandy soil, strong Pacific winds and fog, sun-kissed slopes of the ‘Tepusquet Bench’ combine to produce small vines with limited vigor, tiny clusters and a rare combination of verve and elegance in our wines.

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EST 2001

SANTA RITA HILLS

34° 37′ 51″ N / 120° 20′ 22″ W

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The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is characterized by high intensity, dark and structured Pinot Noir and nervey/mineral Chardonnays.

Petitioned in 1997 by J.Wilkes winemaker Wes Hagen and approved in 2001, the Santa Rita Hills is a unique series of east-west coastal valleys that channel fierce winds and dense fog.  The result of the sandy soils and cool-climate in Pinot Noir production is profound: tiny berries, dense color, and wines that are famed and sought after for their big style, amazing acid structure and impressive aging potential.  Soils begin developing around 12 million years BCE when this area first is thrust out of the Pacific Ocean by a massive tectonic event.

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EST 2014

PASO ROBLES HIGHLANDS DISTRICT

35° 32′ 2″ N / 120° 18′ 14″ W

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The ‘Highlands District’ is defined by hot days and cold nights (with an average diurnal temperature shift of 50 degrees!) and a the highest average elevation of any of the eleven Paso Robles AVA’s.

Younger soils than found in Santa Maria Valley or Sta. Rita Hills AVA’s, these deep, often intensely hard soils were eroded from geologic parent material formed in the Pleistocene and Old Pliocene (5 million years BCE to 10,000 years BCE). The soils in the PRHD AVA tend to be alluvial (broken down by the movement of water) and tend to be less acidic (higher pH) than soils found in The SRH and SMV AVA’s. Associated with the La Panza Range and the Simmler, Monterey, and Paso Robles formations. Highest elevation (2000’+ in places) and diurnal temperature shifts (50 degree average between daytime high and night-time lows) of any Central Coast wine production locale.

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