An appellation is a geographical area recognized for a distinctive combination of soil, climate, and identifiable regional wine character. The word appellation comes from the French Appellation d'Origine Controlee laws, which are laws meant to ensure quality within specific regions of France. These same principles have been used to create American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in the United States.


Chiles Valley Appellation (AVA)

Chiles Valley Climate: Fairly warmer summer days (mid-80°F plus/28.8 to 31°C), but due to higher elevation and summer fog at night, quite chilly at night (below 50°F/10°C). With colder winters and spring, as well as strong winds, harvest comes later than on valley floor at Oakville.

Elevation: 800 to 1300 ft. (242 to 394m).

Rainfall: 35 inches (88cm) annually.

Soils: On the valley floor, primarily alluvial soils with silty-clay composition of marine origin, with good fertility. Hillsides show more clay-loam and stony-clay composition, mostly marine in origin, with some volcanic outcropping, and less fertility.

Principal varieties & characteristics in the Chiles Valley Appellation: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc: Cabernets usually reveal a lush yet firm texture with good acidity, firm tannin and distinctive cherry-blackberry flavors. Merlot typically has vibrant black cherry flavors mixed with a touch of cocoa.