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Ancient Peaks
 
July 3, 2017 | Soils, Vineyard | Ancient Peaks

The Remarkable Sea Bed Soils at Margarita Vineyard

At our estate Margarita Vineyard, you will find a rare array of five distinct soil types that bring natural dimension and complexity to our wines.

Margarita Vineyard’s most spectacular soil profile is found along a block that we call Oyster Ridge, where the ground is riddled with petrified oyster shells and scallops that testify to the land’s origins as an uplifted sea bed.

It is a sight so astonishing that Wine & Spirits Magazine called it "perhaps the most dramatically calcareous chunk of earth in the entire state."

Indeed, as you walk along the Oyster Ridge block, you can see the white fossils literally spilling out of the soil, some of them as large as footballs. If you dig a bit deeper, you discover an entire strata of these compressed fossils.  

The high calcium content these fossils acts like an amped-up form of limestone, yielding wines with high-toned flavors, pretty aromatics and fine tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are among the varieties that excel in this ancient sea bed, and we make a Bordeaux-style blend called Oyster Ridge that pays tribute to this soil. 

When you visit our Paso Robles tasting room, you can see some of these fossils close up, and taste the wines that they produce. You can also take one of our Paso Robles vineyard tours to see Oyster Ridge firsthand. And, of course, you can conclude your visit with a bite at our Paso Robles winery cafe. 

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