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Chalk Hill Wine

Chalk Hill is a tiny, evocatively named AVA in northern Sonoma, nestled among the eastern hills of the famous Russian River Valley.

As the AVA title implies, Chalk Hill's soils are the factor that sets it apart from the rest of the Russian River Valley – especially the soil make-up known as Franciscan Assemblage. Named after the San Francisco area (where it was first analysed and classified), Franciscan Assemblage is a chaotically distributed mix of greywacke sandstones, limestones, deep-sea radiolarian cherts, altered mafic volcanic rocks (greenstones), serpentinites, shales and high-pressure metamorphic rocks. It is the chert and limestone component in particular that justifies the name Chalk Hill.

Chalk Hill, from among the vines
Sonoma County Vintners

In addition to the Franciscan Assemblage, there are Goldridge Series soils. Highly characteristic of Sonoma Valley, these consist of deep, moderately well-drained soils based on material weathered from weakly consolidated sandstone. Chalk Hill's vignerons are proud of their unusual terroir, and no doubt grateful for the talking point and marketing 'edge' it provides.

Many millions of years ago, the area that roughly equates to the modern-day Russian River Valley was a shallow inland sea, perhaps not dissimilar from the San Francisco, San Pablo and Grizzly bays of today. After a prolonged period of seismic and volcanic activity, the valley took on its current form (although, as confirmed by the area's susceptibility to earthquakes, the tectonic activity is far from over). The net result was (more or less) the current topography of the Alexander Valley, with Chalk Hill consisting of the very southern end. To the west is a low-lying coastal range, while to the east are the Mayacamas, which separate Napa from Sonoma.

The higher elevation of the Chalk Hill AVA brings with it warmer temperatures, which suit the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese vines grown on the sunny hillsides. On the lower slopes towards the Russian river, mostly white grapes are planted. These include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Grigio.

The better-known wineries based here are Rodney Strong Vineyards (the first winery to label a wine with the Chalk Hill AVA title), Lancaster Estate, J Vineyards and Chalk Hill Estate.

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We found 56 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Chalk Hill Estate Red Proprietary Blend, Chalk Hill, USA Bordeaux Blend Red $59 1104
Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay, Sonoma County, USA Chardonnay $17 7154
Chalk Hill Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $57 7263
Chalk Hill Estate Bottled Merlot, Chalk Hill, USA Merlot $44 9108
Chalk Hill Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, USA Sauvignon Blanc $22 10502
H & G Small Batch Limited Production Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $17 12704
Cameron Hughes Lot 188 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $28 26350
Crew Wine Company Mossback Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $23 29403
Demuth Kemos Clajeux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $61 31869
Arnot-Roberts Clajeux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $88 33086
Chalk Hill North Slope Pinot Gris, Chalk Hill, USA Pinot Gris $32 41698
Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard Selection Botrytised Semillon, Chalk Hill, USA Semillon $96 44319
Calluna Vineyards 'Calluna Vineyards Cuvee' Red, Chalk Hill, USA Bordeaux Blend Red $30 45136
Herzog Wine Cellars Special Edition Warnecke Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $81 46426
Calluna Vineyards Calluna Estate Red, Chalk Hill, USA Bordeaux Blend Red $49 49768
Wind Gap Windsor Oaks Pinot Gris, Chalk Hill, USA Pinot Gris $39 50793
Herzog Wine Cellars Clone No. Six Edition Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $129 70115
Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard Selection Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, USA Chardonnay $42 84005
Chateau Felice London Cab Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $13 84005
Genius Wines Clajeux Vineyard Creo, Chalk Hill, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $51 84005
Chateau Felice Estate Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, USA Chardonnay $10 85801
Saxon Brown Flora Ranch Syrah, Chalk Hill, USA Syrah $34 85801
Zacherle Syrah, Chalk Hill, USA Syrah $22 85801
Chalk Hill Estate Founder's Block Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, USA Chardonnay $105 93866
Chateau Felice Estate Zinfandel, Chalk Hill, USA Zinfandel $17 96156
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