Chiles Valley District AVA lies within the Napa Valley AVA. Chiles Valley includes 6,000 square acres total, with 1,000 square acres of vineyards. Thanks to its location in the Vaca Mountains on the northeastern edge of Napa Valley, Chiles Valley, at 600 to 1,200 feet above sea level, has a cooler climate that the Napa Valley floor. Along with its relatively high altitude, Chiles Valley’s location as the most eastern of Napa Valley’s sub appellations means that Chiles has more of a continental weather pattern than a maritime pattern. Days can be hot and night much cooler. The AVA earned official designation in 1999 and its vineyards are primarily planted to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Zinfandel. Chiles Valley was named for Joseph Ballinger Chiles, who received a land grant for much of the area in 1841.
Zinfandel is a black-skinned grape, but 85% of the wine produced is made into a rosy “White Zinfandel.” Red Zin is far more complex and bold, while still being light-bodied. It grows in popularity as winemakers continue to experiment with new styles and blends.