With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the San Francisco Bay to the east, Marin County is one of the coolest AVAs in California. The winter temperatures are typically warmer than Napa and Sonoma because of the surrounding bodies of water and its heavy precipitation. While bud break is accelerated, the cool spring and summer seasons lead to long hang times. This longer growing season lends itself to high quality wines with balance, natural acidity, and lower alcohol levels.
Stubbs Vineyard is located in a narrow valley that opens to the south of the vineyard. The vineyard is divided by a seasonal creek that helps drain the area of cold air during the frost season. This is very important for this site as the vineyard is usually very early to bud out and late to ripen, as it is one of the vineyard sites closest to the very cold Tomales Bay. This same drainage acts as a channel for cold air and fog to work its way back up to the vineyard, making it one of the coldest sites for non-sparkling Pinot Noir in Marin. The soils are a mix of alluvial deposits and decomposed sandstone, with variable drainage depending upon location in regards to the creek. The long growing season combined with cool climate leads to mixture of dark fruit, spice and floral elements with flavor ripeness occurring at fairly low brix and high acidity. The wines are more delicate on the whole than warmer climate sites, but have an elegance that is hard to find in most of California.