Portico Hills Vineyard: Terroir
Los Alamos Valley is characterized by cool nights and warm days, allowing grapes to achieve both concentration and balance. In general, Los Alamos has a temperate climate and on average, is typically ten degrees cooler than Santa Ynez Valley to the south, and ten degrees warmer than Santa Maria Valley to the north.
Soils at Portico Hills primarily consist of sandy-loam, which provides good drainage and heat retention. In a relatively cool climate vineyard such as Portico Hills, these soil qualities have been known to lend themselves to highly aromatic wines.
Weather stations from nearby vineyards record an average annual precipitation of 15.5 inches in normal years.
The morphology of the Portico Hills property offers great opportunities to plant blocks on multiple slopes and aspects. Most planted acreage ranges from 10% to 25% slope with white varieties planted on the flatter ground and red varieties planted on the steeper slopes. The hilly topography coupled with the sandy soil promotes drainage, creating the ideal conditions for growing wine grapes. The geographic orientation of Portico Hills is such that during the growing season, there are warm day time temperatures and relatively cool night time temperatures.