“The greatest wines in the world are grown in areas that are on the edge of where the varietals can get
fully ripe.”

~ Wes Hagen, Clos Pepe

Situated in the heart of the East-West maritime chute known as the Santa Ynez Valley, Ballard Canyon experiences cold nights and short periods of day-time heat. The diurnal swing approaches 40 degrees and it is typical to have daytime highs over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 50 during the growing season.

In the early morning, fog flows inland from Point Conception and drifts north up Ballard Canyon, and later in the day gently recedes down the same path. Ballard Canyon’s southern vineyards receive the most time in the cool fog, which burns off earlier in the northern, higher elevations of the AVA. The highest elevations can also be the warmest, often bathing in an inversion layer above the fog-line.

Stylistically, the wines can be defined as cool-climate (Sta. Rita Hills), warm climate (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara), and the marginal areas that are influenced by both. Ballard Canyon AVA represents this critical mixed climate.