The Academy of Saint Ridge in the Fields

Vineyard people are funny. They have very unique senses of humor.

Some people send you an e-mail with the word “funny” in the subject line, and you open it, and you get a picture of a kitty with an uzi (a Kuzi?).

Not really that funny.

More the sort of thing you’d find taped to a wall in the back room of a doctor’s office. Taped up with an old piece of scotch tape. An old piece of scotch tape that has a sad strand of secretarial hair trapped under it.

But then you get e-mails with subject lines like “Inversion Layers are Funny.”

Take today, for example. Today, I got an e-mail from vineyard people. And the subject line was “Inversion Layers are Funny.” That’s vineyard people humor.

Today’s e-mail was from William The Conqueror Thomas, our Viticulturist at Lytton Springs.

He was on an early morning sojourn up Spring Mountain, to the York Creek vineyards. The Burger Knoll, specifically, which is adjacent to where our Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah comes from. At the base of the hill, the temperature was 54 degrees. And it was foggy. Up at the knoll? 84 degrees. At 8:15am.

Now THAT’S funny. Vineyard people funny.

Inversion Layers are Funny.

For those who may be unaware of the term, “inversion” in this case is a deviational atmospheric occurrence in which cooler air is held to lower altitudes, with heat rising with height. In a “traditional” climatic environment, the lower region, near the earth’s surface, is warmer than the air above it, because it’s being heated from below, courtesy of the sun’s radiation warming the Earth’s surface, which in turn then warms the layer right above it. This happens via a process called convective heat transfer. However, in an inversion, this model is “inverted,” such that heat increases with altitude, leaving the lower layer as the colder by comparison. In Northern California, this phenomenon occurs courtesy of coastal ocean upwelling, an oceanographic phenomenon which essentially drops a warmer layer on top of the cooler layer. Probably the most notable visual cue that all this is happening is the fog layer; this is essentially the bifurcation point between the lower and upper layers. You can see it in the photo above quite clearly.

We get a pretty dramatic version of the inversion here at Monte Bello as well. For those of you who’ve picnicked here before, you might recognize this scene:

Monte Bello Fog: Before

Though by the time you arrived, things probably looked more like this:

Monte Bello Fog: After

And that, is Vineyard People Funny.

Categories: Events, Lytton Springs, Monte Bello, Petite Sirah, RIDGE Staff, Vineyards

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2 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Wine in Tampa and commented:
    Vineyard people are funny? A new wine term for me, ‘Inversion Layers’

  2. That’s oddly interesting, aka “funny.”

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