Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara was approved in November of 2009 and consists of 23,941 acres in the eastern most reaches of the Santa Ynez Valley. Currently just 492 acres are planted. This is the smallest AVA in Santa Barbara County. It differs from the more westerly portions of the Santa Ynez Valley and the Sta. Rita Hills AVA as it is warm and where Bordeaux varietals can flourish, along with Rhone varietals.
Fog can be present to mid morning but burns off daily to reveal afternoon temps often into the ninety degree range, cooling again at night. Step diurnal differences can result.
Soils of loam and clay loam, interspersed with cobbles, dominate. They hold high mineral levels yet low nutrient levels producing limited grape output. Concentrated fruit is the result, with slower sugar development, allowing much greater flavor development.
While much of the western parts of Santa Ynez are more typified by Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, this inland end of the valley demonstrates a very different set of conditions. T
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Madame Merlot, you’re a big gal, soft and smoky; how we love your full, curvaceous figure. But you are