The general climate of Santa Barbara County can be described as strongly Mediterranean with cool wet winters and warm dry summers. The Los Olivos District ( true geographic Santa Ynez Valley ) is located within the Santa Ynez River Valley, which by its length, complex topography, and strong maritime influence, presents a wide range of mesoclimates. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean and coastal wind and fog play a strong part in the temperature patterns of the different regions of the Santa Ynez River Valley.
The climate of the Los Olivos District, in relation to other wine regions around the world, is considered moderately warm, with an average heat summation that is well suited to the cultivation of Bordeaux varietals ( approximately 450 acres planted ) and Rhone varietals ( approximately 400 acres planted ). The Los Olivos area is slightly warmer than its western neighbor, Ballard Canyon, and cooler than its eastern neighbor, Happy Canyon. However, its open valley topography allows for more intrusion of coastal fog that moderates the large swings in day-night temperatures. This moderate diurnal temperature range is a key element in the climate of the Los Olivos area, allowing full physiological maturity to be reached at lower sugars.
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