2018 Viognier Russian River
With parts of the AVA located less than 10 miles from the Pacific, the climate of the Russian River AVA is characterized by cool morning fog that comes in from the ocean through the Petaluma Gap and burns off during the day. The cooling influence of the fog is responsible for the large diurnal temperature variation with nighttime temperatures dropping by as much as 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit from daytime highs. The Russian River is a rain-fed waterway that swells in the wintertime and provides vital irrigation to the region’s vineyards during the dry season in late spring. In the summertime, the warmth of the season is tempered by the maritime influence of fog that facilitates a long, slow ripening period and limits the risk of over-ripeness or “baked” flavors in the grapes. Harvest in the Russian River Area often takes place at later dates than in its neighboring regions. The central and western reaches of the AVA are the coolest and tend to be most extensively planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Viognier.