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Murmur Vineyards

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The Vineyard
Murmur Ranch is a dramatic and diverse vineyard of recent origin located in the Southern area of the Santa Maria Valley close to highway 101. Planned and planted by Rob Murray, the layout of this vineyard is tailored specifically to its terroir and includes Rhone and Burgundian plantings. As a result, the vineyard produces a quality of fruit only achieved when conditions are ideal for each vine.

The History
This vineyard began as virgin land and was planted shortly after its purchase by Rob in 2007. As the site had not been farmed before, Rob capitalized on the freedom to impeccably plan each block of Murmur Ranch to maximize the potential of the parcel. He called upon his vineyard management expertise to painstakingly pair each portion of the property with the correct varietals, clones and root stocks, while taking care to make sure each vine was equipped with the right irrigation and trellis system.

The Land
Murmur Ranch is an eclectic 213-acre vineyard located in the proposed southern extension of the Santa Maria Valley AVA- the Solomon Hills area. There are several microclimates within Murmur Ranch, and the elevation and soils differ greatly from one portion of the vineyard to another. In the Northern reaches of the property, the soil is predominantly sandy. The elevations there vary from 350 feet at the lowest point to 1000 feet at the highest, offering breathtaking ocean views. The slopes are predominantly south-facing, lending ideal terroir for ripening fruit in a cool climate. In the middle of the property, canyons with loamy, gravelly, alluvial soils prevail. The entire property features steady maritime airflow, soils low in PH, and steep slopes of up to 30% gradient.

The Seasons
Winter at Murmur Ranch is usually mild due to the vineyard’s proximity to the ocean. Spring remains fairly mild with vines starting to push in March. By late Spring, the weather is warm and sunny, though the trend subsides in June and July when conditions grow cooler and windier. Typically by early July, the site sees conditions ideal for grape ripening with cool, foggy mornings and sunny, warm afternoons. Burgundian varietals are picked in September and the Rhone varietals are picked in October.

The Farming
Murmur Ranch is a high-density vineyard that requires intensive management. Although it is large, it is managed like a boutique vineyard. Each small block is farmed differently and set up with its own separate irrigation system in order to address its unique needs. Rhone varietals are set up for spur pruning, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are cane pruned.

Murmur Vineyard Data
6020 HWY 1 Santa Maria, CA

AVA: Santa Barbara County
  • Acres: 436
  • Climate Zone: 1
  • Soil: Westside; sandy ground Southside; gravelly sandy loam
  • Soil pH: 5.8-6.8
  • Year Planted: 2008
  • Growing Degree Days: 1700–2000°F
  • Average Diurnal Temp. Shift: 25°F
  • Average Rainfall: 13.5 inches/year
Grower: Rob Murray Manager: Bruce Jordan

Varietal Clones Acres Vine Spacing Vine Density Training Pruning
Pinot Noir 4, 114, 115, 667, 777, 828, Martini, Swan 132.43 8 x 4.5 1361 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Cane Pruned
Chardonnay 4, 76, 96, Robert Young 41.2 8 x 4.5 1210 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Cane Pruned
Syrah 174, 383, 877 15.37 8 x 4.5 1210 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Spur Pruned
Grenache 362, Alban 12.33 8 x 4.5 1210 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Spur Pruned
Viognier 1 6.42 8 x 4.5 1210 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Cane Pruned
Pinot Gris 152 4.03 8 x 4.5 1089 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Cane Pruned
Roussanne 1 1.43 8 x 4.5 1210 vines/acre Vertical Shoot Positioning Cane Pruned


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