Chalone Vineyard

Chalone Vineyard - Estate Grown & Monterey County Wines


Chalone Vineyard is one of the few wineries in the U.S. growing grapes in limestone-based soils, the same as in Burgundy. We focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We also produce limited amounts of Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Syrah. All of our estate wines are grown and bottled at the estate, meaning we control everything from vine to bottle.

Location Description

Perched in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, this rugged vineyard sits at the base of an extinct volcano bordering the Pinnacles National Monument.


  • Rugged Beauty.

Additional Information

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As senior winemaker at Chalone Vineyard, Robert Cook guides the style of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from this distinctive terroir—a wild, isolated mountain plateau in Monterey County, located under the Pinnacles National Monument. Cook spends nearly as much time among the vines as in the cellar, working closely with the viticultural team to ensure that each block of this historic estate reaches its full expression.

Before joining Chalone Vineyard, Cook served as director of winemaking at Estancia Winery, leading the team in the production of Pinot Noir, Meritage and Cabernet Sauvignon from their Monterey and Paso Robles vineyards. Prior to Estansia, he spent two years making wine in Spain at Artadi and International Wine Services. He holds a bachelor of science in fermentation science from UC Davis.


The first viticultural activity began in 1919 when Charles Tamm, wandering California in search of soil similar to that of his native Burgundy.

The Team

Yian Lu - Assistant Winemaker:

Yian Lu had a well-established career as a commercial loan officer when she could no longer resist her heart’s desire to become a winemaker. She had been living in New York, tasting wines, and even enrolling in amateur winemaking classes, when she visited a friend in Australia. Her passion was so evident that the friend said, “If you love wine so much, why don’t you move here and make wine for a living?” Over her family’s objections, she did just that—and it was the first step on the road to becoming assistant winemaker at Chalone Vineyard. She was hired in 2014, the day before harvest, Yian is involved in every aspect of winemaking—from evaluating the grapes as they come in to fermenting and bottling.

Yian was born and raised in Taiwan, has her master in business administration in Finance from St. John’s University, and a bachelor degree in Viticulture and Winemaking from the Northern Melbourne Institute of Technical and Further Education. She has worked harvests in France, Australia and California, including St. Supéry in Napa Valley.

Richard Boer - Vineyard Manager:

Richard Boer grew up on an 80-acre ranch in Ukiah, a pastoral village in Mendocino’s wine country. He studied agricultural engineering at California State University, Chico, and became vineyard manager at Chalone Vineyard in 1992. Since Richard’s arrival, he has developed and implemented many new viticultural protocols to improve the quality of Chalone Vineyard’s wines. “We’ve customized our canopy management program to reduce sunburn and dehydration while increasing air flow. We’ve also replanted a number of blocks to Dijon and heritage clones to heighten the distinctiveness of our wines. Everything we do in the vineyard and winery is designed to accommodate and maximize the potential of our unique terroir.”

A few years ago, Richard propagated two acres of Chardonnay from his favorite vine, originally planted in 1973 in the Macwood 3 block. Named the RAB clone (Richard’s initials), its clusters have a distinct floral, Muscat character.

Hector and Jose Bravo - Vineyard Workers:

Hector and Jose have been with Chalone Vineyard 1987 and have planted and cared for the estate vineyard.

Tami Armstrong - Winery Operations Coordinator:

Tami is Chalone Vineyard's Winery Operations Coordinator and has been with Chalone since 1990.

Daniel Armstrong - Maintence and Project Manager:

Daniel is Chalone Vineyard's Maintence and Project Manager and has been with Chalone since 1990.

Carlos Gortarez - Mechanic:

Carlos is Chalone Vineyard's mechanic and has been with Chalone since 1999.

Freddie Diaz (aka Roc) - Cellar Worker:

Roc is one of Chalone Vineyard's cellar workers and has been with Chalone since 2003.

Nick Morales - Cellar Lead:

Nick is Chalone Vineyard's cellar lead and has been with Chalone since 2009.

Cesar Mendoza - Cellar Worker:

Cesar is one of Chalone Vineyard's cellar workers and has been with Chalone since 2012.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Chalone Vineyard's remote location and rugged terrain provide challenges to growing grapes. To maintain vine health and proper grape chemistry, substantial irrigation is required to augment our normally sparse rainfall. Approximately 200 acre feet of water (1 acre foot = 325,828.8 gallons) are used annually to irrigate the vineyards. We have found that with the appropriate amount of irrigation water, the pH, acidity and flavor of the grapes are greatly improved over grapes that are either not irrigated, or receive water for only part of the growing season. Because we have to pump the water almost eight miles from the valley floor, the cost to grow here is greater than in other winegrowing regions.

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32020 Stonewall Canyon Rd
Soledad, California 93960
United States

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