Grapes for the Don & Sons Sonoma Signature Series are sourced primarily from vineyards in the southern-most corner of the Sonoma Coast AVA, a foggy and windy area known as the Petaluma Gap. The Petaluma Gap has a number of key climatic nuances that make the grapes that grow here exceedingly special.
A typical day sees temperature swings of forty to fifty degrees, with vineyards in the Petaluma Gap bathed in fog nearly every morning and evening. Rain is prevalent, with annual rainfall nearly twice that of its inland neighbors.
The cooler weather slows down the ripening process. This extended “hang time” allows the grapes to slowly intensify flavors, while retaining the ideal acidity levels needed for well-balanced wines.
Crop yields likewise tend to be lower than other warmer vineyard areas—around one to two tons per acre. This ratio is considered ideal for crafting top-class Pinot Noir.
Grape clusters from Petaluma Gap vineyards tend to be much smaller than those found in warmer areas. Skins tend to be thicker as well, resulting in a concentrated skin-to-juice ratio.