Known as one of the most—if not the most—temperamental grape varietals, Pinot Noir demands cool conditions to develop its richly nuanced flavors. We selected our grapes from the northern-most vineyards of Monterey County, closest to Monterey Bay. Located on the Salinas Valley’s bench lands, these vines begin their day bathed in morning sun and calm tranquility. However, Pinot Noir vines yield their finest fruit where they must struggle and here, every afternoon, they stand against strong Pacific Ocean winds that slow ripening and develop grapes with deep color, intense flavors and lively acidity.
|Perched high on the western slopes of the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above California’s Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard represents a singular convergence of terroir and winemaking. Here thin, well-drained limestone-based soils combine with a sunny, wind-cooled microclimate and limited rainfall to produce fruit of unique richness and character that demonstrate this vineyard’s typicity. Originally planted in 1919, the vineyard’s ability to yield benchmark Chardonnay was discovered when Chalone Wine Group cofounder Dick Graff made his first vintage here in 1966. The time-honored Burgundian techniques he introduced complement the fruit’s inimitable character to create the full bouquet and hedonistic flavors that are Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay’s hallmarks.