The Carneros region – home of The Orchard – takes its name from the Spanish word for sheep or ram, which grazed on the land for centuries before vintners discovered its untapped potential. Though some of the region’s 39,000 acres are still used for pastureland and fruit orchards, today Carneros is the most sought-after vineyard land in California thanks to its incredibly fertile topsoil and ideal growing climate.
Carneros enjoys an abundance of warm, sunny days that make it very desirable for those seeking a home in Wine Country. Yet the overwhelming majority of its vineyards – more than 85 percent – produce cooler climate varietals such as pinot noir and chardonnay. This is possible because Carneros borders the San Pablo Bay, which produces cool winds and fog at night and in the early morning, keeping the grapes cool and providing essential nutrients. When the fog burns away by mid-morning and residents enjoy another immaculate sunny day, the grapes remain cool, allowing them to slowly ripen to perfection.