Home California Exploring Santa Lucia Highlands: Sommelier Journal Terroir Experience, Day 3

Exploring Santa Lucia Highlands: Sommelier Journal Terroir Experience, Day 3


An Intensive in the Santa Lucia Highlands

Our third and final day touring focused entirely on the Santa Lucia Highlands.The AVA rest along the benchland above the Salinas Valley reaching up to as high as 1200 ft elevation. The region primarily grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with some other cooler climate grapes also growing such as Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Syrah.

Visiting Mer Soieil

Visiting Mer Soleil


tasting with the winemakers in the Mer Soleil Vineyards

Tasting Mer Soleil and Silver Vineyard side

Visiting Double-L Vineyard and Morgan Winery

Morgan Pinot clone tasting

vineyard side Pinot clone tasting

Morgan Winemaker

with the Morgan winemaker


Touring McIntyre Vineyard Steve McIntyre

investigating the Santa Lucia Highland soils with Steve McIntyre



Climbing to the top of Hahn Vineyards

View from the top of Hahn

looking across at the Hahn winery from the top of their Smith Vineyard


view from the top of Smith Vineyard

Touring the Pisoni Vineyards with the Pisoni brothers

Pisoni Vineyards

Mark Pisoni

talking farming in the vines with Mark Pisoni

Cassandra and Mark Pisoni

walking to Gary’s Vineyard, the Pisoni-Fransconi project

Budding over lesson with Mark Pisoni

talking budding new grape vines with Mark Pisoni

View from the top of Pisoni Vineyards

tasting in the new vineyard with Jeff Pisoni

Approaching the Pisoni compound

approaching the Pisoni compound

Pinot Tasting at Pisoni

wines from the Pisoni vineyards

Tasting at Tondre Grapefields with Joe Alarid

Joe Alarid, Tondre Grapefields

Joe Alarid, owner Tondre Grapefields Vineyard

Pinots at Tondre Grapefields

wines of the Tondre Grapefields Vineyards


enjoying the grass


Huge thanks to the winegrowers of Santa Lucia Highlands. It was a huge, really well organized day.

Thank you to David Vogels, Phil Vogels, and Randy Caparoso.

Copyright 2013 all rights reserved. When sharing or forwarding, please attribute to WakawakaWineReviews.com.


  1. Looks like a fun trip! I love the Pinot Noir out of southern River Road area. I enjoyed a beautiful one from the Tondre Grapefield made by Savannah Chanelle the other night. The friends I shared it with were, by their own admission. not the biggest red wine drinkers, but all of them were raving about this one. I think I helped make some converts.

Leave a Reply