Chalone Vineyard Wines

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We welcome Robert Cook, Winemaker at Chalone Vineyards

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Our Wines

Our belief is that finding sites that resemble the traditional French sites for a varietal will allow for the highest expression of deliciousness. All the wines from Chalone Vineyard are made from our own 100-percent-estate-grown fruit in limited production.

We attribute Chalone Vineyard wines’ ability to age to our unique growing site. In wines without minerality, once the fruit is lost, the wine dies. It is the expression of terroir and minerality that create immutable, long-lived aromas and flavors. The minerality will linger, preserving the tension and complexity of the wine long after the fruit is gone.

Our Chenin Blanc was 100% whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel and French barrels. Beautifully balanced, the wine is medium bodied, with a delightful and racy acidity and great finish. Delicious as an aperitif, this Chenin Blanc also goes very nicely with everything from melon and prosciutto to chicken salad, Thai curries and spicy Mexican dishes.

Chardonnay: Chalone Vineyard is one of the few wineries in the U.S. growing grapes in limestone-based soils, the same as in Burgundy. The spare, well-drained ground, limited rainfall and low crop levels attracted Dick Graff, who wanted to make top-flight Burgundian-styled Chardonnay. Graff made his first vintage under the Chalone Vineyard label in 1966, producing what became a benchmark for California Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir: Opulent currant and black cherry aromas are accentuated by a light earthiness, like a pine forest after rain. The same fruit elements in the powerful flavors mingle with smokey oak and vanilla notes, and build to a long, sweet finish. Big, harmonious, complex and graceful, this is delicious Pinot Noir with a promising future. Try it with moderately spicy Thai or Cajun dishes, smoked salmon and don’t forget mild cheese.

Our Syrah has intense blackberry and cherry fruit aromas with ripe, soft tannins and a lengthy finish. This wine’s intense flavors and supple tannins make it a natural with rich meats such as rosemary garlic rack of lamb, roasted duck with grilled vegetables or a hearty beef stew.

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Chalone Vineyards

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We welcome Robert Cook, Winemaker at Chalone Vineyards

Enjoy the Show (part 2 of 4)


Chalone Vineyards

The oldest producing vineyard in Monterey County, Chalone Vineyard Estate rests on the Gavilan Mountain Range on the north slope of Chalone Peak. At 1,800 feet, the quiet splendor of the vineyards overlooks spectacular views of the wide-open Salinas Valley, made famous by local author John Steinbeck. The vineyard’s name comes from the peak, which derives its name from the indigenous Costanoan Native American tribe, the Chalone, or Chollen.

1919: The first planting
The first viticultural activity began shortly after the turn of the 20th century when Charles Tamm, wandering California in search of soil similar to that of hisnative Burgundy, stumbled upon the property that is now Chalone Vineyard. In 1919 Tamm planted what is today the oldest producing Chenin Blanc in Monterey County. During Prohibition, the grapes were sold to wineries making sacramental wines.chalone wines

1946: Expansion
In 1946 the vineyard now called “The Lower Vineyard,” was planted by Will Silvear with more Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, and he added Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. Silvear made some wine in Watsonville (we have an empty bottle of “Silvear’s Light Wine,” that was found in a rubble pile). He also sold grapes to the Wente family and Georges de Latour at Beaulieu in Napa. Mr. Silvear died in 1955 and his wife continued to operate the vineyard for a while, finally selling it to Dr. Liska and Mr. Sigman. They operated the vineyard for several years.

1960: Chalone label introduced
The first wine produced under the Chalone label was made in 1960 by Philip Togni, in what had been a brooding shed for chickens. Daily trips to Salinas for ice, which at that time was an hour and a half away, provided the cooling needed for the wine cellar.

1964: Dick Graff
In 1964, Dick Graff, a Harvard music graduate and former naval officer, tasted a Windsor Vineyard wine made from Chalone grapes. He was immediatelygraff entranced and after visiting the remote winery, was determined to own Chalone. In 1965 Dick embarked on what has now become a part of California winemaking and viticultural history, attending University of California, Davis to learn winemaking and then he and his mother, Estelle, saved the Chalone property from imminent bankruptcy. Almost single-handedly, Dick was responsible for introducing California winemakers to the intricacies of malolactic fermentation in white wines as well as the now widespread practice of fermenting and aging white wine in small oak barrels. He was also one of the first persons to import and sell barrels from Burgundy in the United States.

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Back to School

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We welcome Robert Cook, Winemaker for Chalone Vineyards…

But First we go back to School !

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The 70’s

5. Spread yellow mustard on bread. Slap baloney on bread. Unwrap American cheese slices and put on top of baloney. Put top on the sandwich and wrap sandwich in tin foil or wax paper. Put it in the lunchbox. Every kid gets the same exact lunch. Period.

6. Alternate sandwich choices could include: peanut butter and grape jelly, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, the end of last night’s leftover roast beef or the ever popular with children tuna fish with large chunks of onions and celery and Miracle Whip. Back_to_school

7. Put some Planter’s Cheese Balls into a baggie and close with a twist tie.

8. Take Twinkies out of the box. Put one in each child’s lunch box.

9. Fill Thermoses with either Kool-Aid or whole milk.

10. Include a red delicious apple even though you know that damned apple is just going to come home uneaten again, which is fine because you can keep adding the same one until it practically rots.



8. Go to Whole Foods to shop for school lunch items. This will take 4 hours and 15 minutes because you have to read every single label to make sure you are purchasing organic, locally sourced, non-GMO, gluten-free, allergy friendly products. You come home with tahini, bananas and a package of brown rice cakes. You somehow spent $76.19.

10. The night before the first day of school prepare the bento boxes. Fill containers with organic, local strawberries intricately cut into the shapes of  sea creatures. Include homemade, nut free granola made with certified gluten-free oats. Make a sandwich on vegan hemp bread out of tahini, kale and jicama. Form it into the shape of your child’s favorite Disney character. Make flowers out of non-dairy cheese slices, olives and seaweed. Photograph the finished Bento Box and post it to Instagram.

16. Make pancakes in the shape of the letters of the alphabet.

17. Dress kids in coordinated outfits and spend 35 minutes posing and photographing them (with your phone).



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