Our vineyards sit 25 miles from the Pacific Ocean between the San Rafael and Santa Ynez Mountain ranges, at an elevation of 1300 – 1600 feet. This elevation gives the vineyards better exposure to the ocean breezes that funnel inland through the transverse mountain ranges, allowing the vines to thrive in both the cool climate to the west and the warm climate to the east. This gives our vineyards a unique advantage for growing dynamic, yet balanced Rhône varieties.
The soils in our vineyard are derived from the Chamise Soil Series and Elder Soil Series. They are heavily influenced by a large number of water-rounded fragments of Monterey Shale found within the soil. With an impermeable hardpan layer, only 24 to 36 inches below the Mesa and Chapel blocks, the vines must persevere within a relatively thin, nutrient-poor soil. This rocky, sandy soil holds very little water and provides the stress needed to produce complex, mineral-driven wines.
One of the many unique attributes of Zaca Mesa is the wild sagebrush that surrounds our vineyards. The sticky sap and pungent aromas of the sagebrush undoubtedly make their way onto the grapes during the growing season, giving our wines their signature wild herb or sage-like aromas and flavors.
All of these elements create a distinctive personality that can only be found at Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards, making it one of the most unique winegrowing sites in Santa Barbara County.