Chalone Vineyard is in Soledad, above the Salinas Valley in Monterey County. The estate’s roots date to 1919, when a French immigrant planted grapes on the property. Its more recent history started in 1966, when Dick Graff purchased the property and made his first commercial Chardonnay. Today the 200-acre estate is owned by the Chalone Wine Group. Since the 1970s Chalone’s Chardonnays and Pinot Blancs have been highly regarded. Chalone also makes well reviewed Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.