Solomon Hills Vineyard is the most coastal vineyard up in cool foggy Santa Maria Valley. It’s also the sister vineyard to Bien Nacido, so it too is farmed with same doting attention to detail. The site consists of a series of gently rolling hills of sand next to Highway 101, at the western edge of the appellation. Being so close to the ocean, Solomon Hills is exceptionally cool and foggy in a region where that is the norm (the Miller family also grows blueberries here, which might give you an idea of the climate).
The marginal weather and the extremely poor sandy soils make low yields and intense fruit the name of the game. When the vines are flowering in spring the weather is often moist and cool, which makes it difficult to get good fruit set. And being planted on nutrient-poor sand means the berries and clusters stay quite small, which is great for making wines with vibrancy and character.
With these influences only Dijon clones make sense for the site, as these clones are better equipped to ripen in chilly vineyards where “California clones” like those at Bien Nacido might give under-stuffed and overly nervy wines. The Dijon fruit benefits from the cool, gradual ripening here. Our wines that come out of this vineyard are always radiant and bold offerings with lots to say, but also elegant and precisely balanced—just a joy to drink!