' The Vineyard - Shadow Mountain Vineyards & Winery

The Vineyard

The Ideal Environment

The vineyards at Shadow Mountain are planted around 3,300 feet above sea level. The vines grow in rocky soil that has been infused with a balance of minerals and pH levels. The location and direction of each row has been carefully selected for optimal growth and protection from the elements. The environment is harsh and unforgiving; but in the right hands, it becomes ideal for growing the grapes that make award-winning wine.

The Lay of the Land

Today, we have 9 vineyards on the property that are growing 16 different grape varietals, and with grapes from the 2 external properties (4 vineyards) we manage, we end up producing 16 different Estate wines - some blends and some single varietals (meaning they contain no less than 75% of the grape varietal named on the label). Each vineyard needs to be carefully planned and managed, as each is planted at a slightly different altitude and orientation, and each varietal has its own needs for water, sunlight, airflow, nutrients, and ripening.

Quality beats quantity

Typically, the lifespan of a vineyard is 25-30 years. A vine is most productive between 8-15 years old. After this, and up to 30 years, the quantity of fruit produced drops significantly, while the quality of the fruit rises.

We have vineyards planted in the 1940s, in the 1960s, the 1970s, and each decade after that, so we are currently a low-yield / high quality producer. And - at high altitude - there's no competition—the highest quality wine grapes in San Diego are grown right here.