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What is the Terroir of San Francisco?

Certainly there are plenty of grapes being grown in the vicinity of San Francisco: Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, and more. But did you know there's a vineyard in the city? The San Francisco Examiner reports on Winemakers Elly Hartshorn and Jenny Sargen, who have planted 349 Pinot Noir vines in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. The first harvest is scheduled for 2016. Vines are planted on a slope, good for Pinot Noir, with southern exposure, good for sun. The soil, however? It's "silica-heavy sedimentary rock" which is "considered quite unfriendly to grape vines."

In terms of terroir, Hartshorn and Sargen speculate San Francisco resembles the Sonoma Coast, Santa Cruz Mountains, or possibly Derbyshire, England. (Didn't see that last one coming.)

When was the last time grape vines (destined for wine) graced San Francisco's landscape? Before the 1906 earthquake.

So would you like a bottle of San Francisco Pinot Noir? You'll have to be patient, but in the meantime you can learn more about Neighborhood Vineyards. Or even volunteer. Get those pruning shears sharp!

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