Chalone enjoys one of the finest expressions of terroir anywhere. Distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have earned the wines of Chalone cult status. High in the Gabilan Mountains, straddling the borders of Monterey and San Benito counties, this small appellation is characterized by distinctive limestone and decomposed granite soil. This unique soil combines with an arid climate to stress the vines, concentrating the flavor and mineral character of the legendary wines. Situated above the fog line, this AVA, with less than 300 acres under vine, enjoys high daytime summer temperatures, but low nighttime readings, preserving grape acidity and balance. This rugged terrain near Pinnacle National Monument is the setting for one of California’s viticultural splendors.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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