Mount Harlan Wine

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It takes great resolve to plant vineyards in Mount Harlan’s rugged terrain. Fortunately for the wine world, a ‘terroirist’ named Josh Jensen took on the challenge in search of California’s equivalent to Burgundy. Located in a remote high-altitude section of San Benito County’s Gabilan Mountains, the 7,400-acre appellation has less than 100 acres under vine. The vines all grow on limestone soil reminiscent of Burgundy, which is the area’s defining characteristic. The elevation of Mt. Harlan begins at 1,800 feet, although the vineyards are much higher, averaging closer to 2,200 feet. Their lofty perch allows a river of cool air currents to stream unencumbered into the region from Monterey Bay. The climate is cool and almost desert-like, keeping the vines stressed and yields low. This has made Mr. Jensen’s Calera Wine Company, the appellation’s only winery, justly famous. Calera also grows Chardonnay and Viognier, although it is Pinot Noir that keeps the winery on the elite list of great California Read more »

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Varietals Produced in Mount Harlan View all

  • Aligoté

    In North America, Aligoté’s cold-weather tolerance has provided it with homes in Washington State, British Columbia a...

  • Viogner

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Tempranillo

    History of the grape: Origins of Tempranillo are murky. It could be indigenous to the Spanish countryside, or it coul...

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