Gabriel, like many areas of California, SoCal is a mosaic of microclimates and soil types. More important, however, is that despite an environment conducive to fruit production, the available resources, including the best land, are being devoted to human population development. Thus, whole tracts of wonderful vineyards, oranges, etc. have been pulled for housing, and water is used for human needs. There were beautiful head trained, spur pruned Zin vineyards in Cucamonga, etc., no longer present as anything but a historical footnote. So the question is not whether hot-climate vines can grow well in SoCal, but whether they can grow in the only land left undeveloped, using resources as yet not earmarked for the human population. Carignan and Petite Sirah could grow successfully almost anywhere. Cabernet Franc requires a relatively cool climate, being a relatively early ripening variety (relative to, say, Cab Sauv). But in the high desert (and we are at 2800 ft.), there isn't always enough water in the aquifer, and certainly wasn't the past couple of years. So the answer is... with enough water. In lower land like Cucamonga and the Inland Empire, it is likely that once established, a quality vineyard could be dry-farmed (for certain grapes). Closer to San Diego, or more coastal regions, or in parts of Santa Barbara County, Cab Franc could do very well.
Last edited by Craig Winchell
on Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.