About the Chiles Valley Soil

Chiles Valley is best known for its old vine California Zinfandel. Many of these vines were planted before Phylloxera devastated much of California Wine Country in the late 19th century. These ancient vines were saved by their isolation. They currently produce a limited amount of highly prized grapes.

Soils on the valley floor are alluvial, loamy and moderately fertile. The AVA’s many creeks and watersheds help keep soils well-drained. The vast majority of vineyards are planted between 800 and 1000 feet above sea level.

The AVA is surrounded by steep hills that rise to about 2200 feet. Hillside soils are extremely unfertile and made primarily of serpentine, sandstone and shale. Cool air from the tops of these hills is often drawn down into the valley’s vineyards.

Chardonnay has also found a home in the soils of Chiles Valley. It is usually made in a buttery, opulent style that is fuller-bodied. It is much closer to an Oakville rather than a Carneros Chardonnay.

About the Chiles Valley Soil