' A Taste of Monterey - Appellations Chalone


The Chalone region is nestled at 1,800 feet in elevation in the central part of the Gavilan Mountain Range – set against the dramatic backdrop of Pinnacles National Monument. This region has a long history of grape growing, dating back to 1919. Here are found the oldest producing vines in Monterey County. Chalone was awarded its own AVA designation in 1982. Because of its elevation in the mountain range, Chalone is truly unique among Monterey County’s appellations.

Because of this elevation, vineyards are out of reach of the Salinas Valley fog and thus frequently experience a more dramatic shift from high daytime temperatures to the cold nighttime air that allow the grapes to achieve full varietal character . The heart of Chalone remains in the unique limestone and granite soils found only in this AVA. They naturally limit the grape yields, and the limited rainfall that concentrate the fruit and contribute to the rich full bouquet found in the wines of the district. The unique, local soil composition also has an influence on the grapes. Decomposed granite and limestone soil are found only in this AVA and provide the root system with adequate drainage. This maintains healthy vines and contributes to the rich full bouquet found in the wines of the district.

This extreme climate and unique soil composition has been home to almost 300 cultivated acres of vines since being awarded its AVA designation. These vineyards produce a variety of quality grapes including: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Syrah.

Name of AVA: Chalone
AVA Approval: 1982
Acres Planted: 300
Climate: Warm, high elevation reduces coastal influence.
Dominant Soils: Vista Coarse Sandy Loam, McCoy-Gilroy Complex
Min/Max Elevations: 1,201ft/2,323ft

AVA Map | Monterey | Arroyo Seco | Carmel Valley | Chalone | Hames Valley
San Antonio Valley | San Bernabe | San Lucas | Santa Lucia Highlands