Many talk about the Templeton Gap for its refreshing cooling effect on the grape vines in Templeton. Yet, few go into detail on how it works or what it does to the grapes. High pressure wind flows from the Pacific Ocean through an hour glass shaped opening in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, giving it more power to spread through the land east of it in northeastern and southeastern directions. The El Pomar area of Templeton gets the tail end of this cool air flow without the gusts that kick up dust or toss the grapes around. It must be true because an aviation expert drew this diagram for me at the Hansen Winery tasting room.
The best way to understand the complex yet balanced flavors this brings to the grapes, is to taste wines in the El Pomar area of Templeton. Hansen specializes in the king of grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon. That doesn’t mean they only have reds, not that there’s anything wrong with that. They start a tasting with a rose wine made out of Cabernet Sauvignon. This vibrant robust wine has a hint of color but a big full mouthfeel you’d expect from a red wine yet the dry crisp finish of a white. Then, their selection of award winning cabs delight and amaze with sensational flavors and many layers and textures. These hand-made wines from small lots are the best representation of this grape in the area.