Winemakers talk about them all the time. They are what make the central coast such rich terrain for growing amazing wine grapes. Micro-climates refer to the clusters of varied weather we get here on the central coast. Literally there can be a 40 degree temperature difference within 10-15 miles.
It’s great for the grapes because they are planted around inland valleys and hills and soak up dry hot temeratures during the day in growing months, and then the coastal cool fog and air moves in to cool them down and let the sugars settle overnight.
It’s great for grapes and it’s great for living around here. I was thinking about micro-climates today after enjoying a weekend of activites in the Paso Robles area surrounding Wine-Fest weekend and water sports. It was a beautiful warm couple of days. Temperatures were perfect for sundresses and sandles at the winefest and for soaking up the sunshine on Lake Nacimiento (about 20 miles from Paso Robles) the day after.
The so-called summer season doesn’t kick off until next weekend, Memorial Day weekend, but it sure felt like summertime in Northern San Luis Obispo County the last few weekends. I was with a group of friends boating on the lake Sunday and it wasn’t until the sun set that we started feeling a chill when we got out of the water. The ride home was with the top down and summer tunes blasting on the radio and I loved the feel of cool cotton pajamas on my slightly sunburned skin after showering and settling in the the night. I fell asleep to the sounds of bullfrogs and ducks and doves serading me to sleep and woke to their stirrings in the morning. Summer is here!
Then I headed back to my house in Shell Beach Monday morning before heading into work that afternoon. Once again I had the top down, hair up, and was still savoring the feel of the summertime weekend I just enjoyed. I noticed the hills had browned and the beautiful contrast of the green Oak trees studded along the golden hills and the longhorn cattle wandering along them and had a happy, grateful heart.
As I headed through San Luis Obispo (about 30 miles from Paso Robles) I noticed the temperature on my car thermometer start to drop a few degrees and as I rounded the corner toward Shell Beach, there it was…that coastal fog lingering in the late morning hours but slowly retreating back out to sea. I pulled into the little beach side community in which I live and saw the sundresses and sandals replaced by sweatshirts and Uggs. Still a sign of summer on the Central Coast, just the morning chill of living on the beach come summertime. (It’s the opposite during winter…you wake up to sunshine at the beach and fog and cooler temperatures inland) It was another example of the beauty of micro-climates and made me grateful I could get such a change of scenery and spirit in a matter of miles.
Another reason, there’s No Place (and taste) Like Home~!