“Wherever it is in the world, the soil is the basis of all wines.”

~ Melville Vineyards & Winery, Sta. Rita Hills A.V.A.

Many of the vineyards within Ballard Canyon are planted in either clay or sand, and some vineyards lie on Limestone outcroppings.

In arid Santa Barbara County, the Clay retains moisture and nutrients allowing vines to grow healthily despite lack of rainfall. Clay also retains the cold temperatures of our maritime-influenced nights, allowing vines to more easily weather intense mid-day temperature spikes.

Sandy vineyard sites, from which moisture drains quickly, lend to wines of heightened intensity due to the vines’ constant search for water and nutrients. Some of the ripest fruit profiles in Ballard Canyon come from sandy vineyards.

In the northern half of the AVA, Limestone outcroppings lie under clay top-soils, adding minerality and higher acids to wine. The high pH of Limestone results in crops possessing low pH, or high acidity. Roots absorb the chalky profile of the decomposed seashell.