|Color & Type
The Spanish term ‘Las Alturas’ means ‘the heights’, a fitting name for this vineyard located on one of the highest grape-growing benches in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. At this elevation, the sunny but very cool climate creates a wine bearing all the hallmarks of this coastal region: robust, expressive, full bodied and balanced by a firm acidity.
Nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the western side of Salinas Valley, Las Alturas benefits from early morning fog which rolls in most days from Monterey Bay then burns off within a few hours. Gusty winds funnel in from the bay throughout the afternoon, moderating the overall temperature and contributing to one of the longest growing seasons in California. The high winds also result in smaller berries with very thick skins, giving more color concentration.
Another attractive characteristic of this vineyard is the low-vigor, free-draining subsoil made up of a calcareous base underneath a layer of sandy loam. This complements the winery’s farming techniques to further reduce the yields per vine and augment the fruit’s intensity.
In 2001, Joe Wagner (whose family owns Caymus Vineyards) created Belle Glos, which focuses on vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from throughout California’s best coastal wine-growing regions. He chose the name Belle Glos to honor his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner. Lorna was a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards, an inspirational figure to Joseph and an avid lover of Pinot Noir.
Belle Glos showcases 3 distinctive single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from coastal locations: Dairyman (once an old dairy farm situated in the southern alluvial plains of the Russian River Valley), Clark & Telephone (located near the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road in the Santa Maria Valley), and Las Alturas (located in one of the highest-plantable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County).
In addition to these 3 annual releases, Belle Glos produces a limited offering of Pinot Noir from the Taylor Lane Vineyard (which is subject to sometimes ruthless fog and winds from the Pacific Ocean) and a dry rose wine, Oeil de Perdrix Pinot Noir Blanc.