The Carmel Pine Cone recently carried a heart warming article on our very own Ann Hougham, owner of Mesa Del Sol Vineyards. The April 22-28, 2016 edition featured Ann in their "Great Lives" section. Check out the article by clicking here.
Monterey County is a uniquely special and diversified grape growing region. Influenced largely by the Blue Grand Canyon, a deep underwater crevice some sixty miles long and two miles deep. The impact of this off shore canyon can be experienced as fog, wind, lack of rain, and a long growing season. Perhaps even more interesting is the subsequent creation of a thermal rainbow. This natural air conditioning allows for a potential for a forty-degree difference between the north and south grape growing regions.
While Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the predominant grapes of this region there are in fact 42 grape varietals planted here. There are nine American Viticulture Areas (AVA) in Monterey County along with eight different soil compositions. It is all this and more that give Monterey County wines their unique flavor profiles and that special sense of place.
Pelerin is the French word for pilgrim. The motif represents an old world traveler on his humble journey and is emblematic of Chris Weidemann’s quest to produce top-level wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. Building on exceptional quality fruit, Chris is dedicated to traditional winemaking methods and to the creation of well-balanced wines with intensity, richness and multi-layered complexity. In true artisan style, Chris strives to express uniqueness and deliciousness in the wines, as well as to convey our passion and creativity to the people who enjoy them. Chris received his degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC, Davis, in 1995. After graduation he worked at Newton Vineyard in Napa and Morgan Winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands before starting his own winery in 2002. He’s also consulting winemaker at Paraiso Vineyards.
background for winemaking. He learned winemaking at Bonny Doon, became assistant winemaker at Big Basin, and in 2007 partnered with John Allen, owner of Coastview Vineyard, in making Coastview Vineyard and Le P’tit Paysan wines. Ian is also winemaker at De Tierra Vineyard and consults for Pierce Ranch Vineyards in Monterey County.
Climate and geography play a large part in making Mesa Del Sol wines spectacular. In 1998 Salinas-born agricultural innovator Jake Hougham and his wife Ann purchased this spectacular and historical piece of land that has produced award-winning wines. Lean rocky soils have been nurtured with organic farming practices where cover cropping and composting the fields provide a yearly dose of organic matter. Past harvests have brought Mesa Del Sol accolades; most notably the 2002 Hunter Hill Mesa Del Sol Syrah took "Best in Show" at the 2005 California State Fair Wine Competition. The Syrah was chosen as number one from a field of 2,800 wines