Chalk Hill Winery is a 280-acre estate in the Russian River Valley of California. It was founded in 1982 by Frederick and Peggy Furth, but in 2010 it was sold to the Foley Family Wines conglomerate. William Foley is a Florida-based businessman who owns numerous wine estates in California and elsewhere. The winery has long been known for its Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs though today it also makes Syrah, Cabernet-Malbec, Pinot Gris and Viognier.
Sonoma County is not an AVA, but it is a commonly used informal designation for wines made outside of more specific AVAs within Sonoma, which is a large wine producing region just west of Napa Valley. Though Sonoma is often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor Napa Valley, it has a long history of wine production. The area specialized in jug wine until the mid-20th century, when Sonoma producers took a cue from Napa and started improving quality. Unlike Napa, where Cabernet Sauvignon is king, Sonoma specialized in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, though excellent Cabs are produced too. There are at present 16 AVAs within Sonoma County, and, like much of the West Coast of the United States, new AVAs are created in Sonoma County with regularity. Some Sonoma appellations, such as the Russian River Valley, are renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.