Concerning proposed Sta. Rita Hills AVA Expansion

The Sta. Rita Hills AVA lies within the larger Santa Ynez Valley AVA, an east-west transverse valley with a continuum of climatic and geological features influenced by its opening to the Pacific Ocean. The current and original AVA boundaries were carefully and exhaustively determined in 2001 by the original petitioners based on patterns of daily oceanic fog and temperature data. The eastern boundary to the AVA is a north-south range of hills that alters the sea fog pattern and brings an increase in daily temperatures moving east from this boundary. In the opinion of the original petitioners and the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance (SRHWA), it is imperative that the cool-climate environment for winegrowing is maintained. A study of the data in the petition submitted by Mr. Shabram will be reviewed by the Alliance Board, but at this time the SRHWA stands by the integrity of the original and current boundaries.

About Sta. Rita Hills

Santa Rita Hills (now Sta. Rita Hills) was officially designated as an American Viticultural Area in 2001, though the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard produced legendary Pinot Noir as early as 1975. The Sta. Rita Hills AVA spans over 31,000 acres at the far western end of the Santa Ynez Valley. The closer proximity to the Pacific Ocean and unique transverse valley provides a consistently cooler climate than the rest of the Santa Ynez AVA and distinguishes it as a particularly ideal area for growing cool climate varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sta. Rita Hills boasts one of the longest growing seasons and coolest climates in California. To learn more about our region visit


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