Chalk Hill Soil & Terrain
The Soil & Terrain of Chalk Hill Wine Country
The soil composition of a typical Chalk Hill vineyard is acidic, shallow and well drained. Top soil is mainly clay or gravel based, and is peppered with organic material. Just underneath the topsoil is the volcanic, ashy layer that gives the region its name.
These soils are part of a regional geological feature called the Sonoma Volcanics. Resulting from ancient volcano eruptions, they are greyish-white and resemble, but are not actually, chalk. Minerals in the ground have been slowly leeched and eroded over the millennia. The result is the porous and unfertile geology that dominates the AVA today.
In addition to Chalk Hill Chardonnay, red Bordeaux varietals and Sauvignon Blanc are also widely planted. Albini Family Vineyards makes a particularly nice and limited quantity Merlot with Chalk Hill grapes.
Over the years, Chardonnay has been the most acclaimed varietal in the region. Chalk Hill Estate produces an outstanding Reserve bottling of this varietal. Chalk Hill Road and Highway 128 are the major access roads for wine tasting in the region.
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