This narrow appellation in the Vaca Mountains along the northeast side of the Napa Valley can be described as a "valley within a valley". It was named after Joseph Ballinger Chiles, who was given a land grant, Rancho Catacula from the Mexican government in the mid-1800s. The Chiles Valley AVA covers an area of approximately 6,000 acres, with more than 1,000 acres under vine. The terroir is unique, as cooling bay breezes which affect the Napa Valley floor do not reach as far inland as Chiles Valley, making the climate more continental than maritime. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are grown here with great success and often labeled with both the Chiles Valley and Napa Valley designations. Joseph Chiles would be proud of the products that are fashioned on his land today.
Appellation America has entered its second decade on the web. Much has changed since the start, but the core focus remains characterizing the unique flavor profiles of North America’s appellations and the natural influences and human cultural forces which influence them.
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