The Carmel Valley appellation shares few of the gentle charms of the nearby seaside town of Carmel. This rugged AVA begins at Carmel Valley village, five miles inland, and is marked by high elevations and steep slopes with well-drained granite terraces. The valley, with less than 300 acres under vine, runs in a southeastern direction along the Carmel River and the Cachagua Creek. Dominated by red Bordeaux varietals -- such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot -- the appellation is distinctly warmer than the northern end of the Salinas Valley. Although it is classified as a cool region, its vineyards are generally situated at elevations above 1,000 feet, and are less influenced by the coastal fog and wind which affects the northern end of the Salinas Valley.
While the early days of Napa Valley always mentioned the dust in summer, Rutherford Dust referred to an entirely different context. During a recent tasting in Napa Valley held by the Rutherford Dust Society a wide wide range of Rutherford wines shed new light on the long term meaning.
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