Field Recordings Escolle
Santa Lucia Highlands is a long, narrow AVA that runs down the western side of the Salinas Valley in Monterey, California. Oceanic influences from the cold Monterey Bay make the area suitable for the production of premium, cool-climate wines. The AVA has earned a reputation for intensely flavored Chardonnay and weighty Pinot Noir.
The AVA covers an area that runs southeast along the foothills of the Santa Lucia mountain range, stretching from the town of Gonzales to the neighboring AVA of Arroyo Seco in the south. Vineyards are planted on south and east facing hills, often at elevations of up to 1,200 feet (365 meters).
Winegrowing in the area dates back to the late 18th Century, when Spanish missionaries planted the first vines. The modern wine industry sprang up in the 1970s, and the area became an AVA in 1991.
The influence of the Pacific Ocean plays a major part in the climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands. The elevated slopes are subject to bright morning sunshine, and coastal breezes that sweep down the Salinas Valley from Monterey Bay to provide a counter to this in the afternoon.
Reaching gusts of up to 25 miles (40 kilometers) an hour, the wind retards photosynthesis and forces grapes to develop a thicker skin, contributing higher tannins and phenolic structure to the finished wines produced in the area.
Nighttime and morning fogs also provide cooling influences, creating a classically cool-climate viticultural area with a long ripening period.
In fact, the Santa Lucia Highlands has one of the longest growing seasons in California, with harvest sometimes following the rest of the state by up to six weeks. This long growing season means that grapes can ripen slowly and evenly, developing complex varietal character and fresh acidity.
The soils in the Santa Lucia Highlands are well-drained with low fertility, making them perfect for the production of premium grapes. The combination of the soils and the exposure to wind stresses the vines, causing them to put all their energy into the production of fruit rather than the canopy. The resultant berries are small with thick skins, leading to great structure and depth of flavor in the wines.
The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is synonymous with the Burgundy varieties, but excellent examples of Riesling and even some Northern Rhône-styled Syrah can be found here.
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A wine list from Flask published in the early 1970s
Driving down Ventura Blvd in Studio City in the 1960’s has something in common with today, Flask Fine Wine & Whisky- Flask first opened its doors to the public in 1962. Decades later and it still remains a respected fixture in the Los Angeles community.
We work directly with the wineries, distilleries and breweries to maintain a personal relationship with the creators of some of our favorite products.
We want to know their stories and how they produce bottles that fit into our unique collection. We make a point to keep our selection stocked with a wide variety, offering your classic Napa icons to your natural & organic wines.
We like to think of our whiskey and spirit section as more of a library where the rarest of bottles can be found.
We look forward to helping you find your next favorite bottle!