Rancho Santa Fe AVA Map
The proposed Rancho Santa Fe AVA is located within San Diego County, California, which in turn is located within the South Coast AVA. The South Coast AVA is an expansive area with varied terrain and climate. It consists of more than 2.1 million acres ranging from Long Beach to Mexico. As a result, the “South Coast AVA” is too broad to describe the origin of the wines of the proposed Rancho Santa Fe viticultural area.
The proposed Rancho Santa Fe AVA’s northern boundary is the Escondido Creek River Valley which sheds towards the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve that opens to the Pacific Ocean. The southern boundary is the San Dieguito River Valley which also sheds west to the San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area that opens to the Pacific Ocean. The western boundary is essentially the Pacific Ocean but the petitioners propose to demark Interstate 5 Freeway as the AVA’s western limit because the area between Interstate 5 and the Pacific Ocean is completely full sub-urban development of the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas. The eastern boundary is the Santa Fe Valley Trail/Lusardi Creek/San Dieguito Trail Head which marks the end of the Rancho Santa Fe (RSF) postal code: 92067.
The proposed Rancho Santa Fe AVA consists of 15,827 acres filled with natural southern California chaparral that developed over time with the natural Mediterranean climate. The region also has a prolific eucalyptus tree forest that was planted by the Santa Fe Railroad in the early 20th century. The eucalyptus trees are not only part of the storied history of Rancho Santa Fe, but more importantly, provide a unique, distinguishing and desirable character to our wines. An August 2012 article from the Wine & Viticulture Journal of Australia and New Zealand notes an extensive research project from the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) which found that “the location and leaves of eucalyptus trees play a direct role in the concentration of 1,8- cineole (eucalyptus aroma compound) and occurrence of the “eucalypt,” “fresh” or “minty” characters in wine.”(Dimitra L. Capone, 2012). The majority of the producing vineyards of the proposed Rancho Santa Fe AVA are planted in proximity to Rancho Santa Fe’s century old forest of Australian native eucalyptus.