PINE MOUNTAIN-CLOVERDALE PEAK AVA: ELEVATION AND CLIMATE
The Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Appellation is one of the highest elevation grape-growing regions in California. The AVA, which rises from 1,600 feet at its lowest point to 3,000 feet at the mountain’s peak, has grapes growing primarily at 1,800 feet and higher. The very high elevation of the mountain affects fog cover, hours of daylight, daytime and nighttime temperatures, rainfall, and wind — virtually every climatic element influencing wine grape production.
Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak growers record an average 12 degree drop in temperature, from the center of Cloverdale to the base of the mountain. Daytime temperatures tend to drop significantly further, as elevation increases to vineyards above 1,600 feet.
However, nighttime temperatures tend to increase, and gradually become warmer than the valley floor. This dramatically altered diurnal pattern is the result of heavier, cooler air dropping into the valley, displacing the warmer air and causing it to rise. The valley vineyards are chilly at night, while high elevation sites remain relatively warm.