Very few wineries have anywhere near as rich a history in California. Famous winemakers from Dave Ramey to Bill Knuttel have led the winemaking at Chalk Hill, followed by Courtney Foley and now the extremely formidable Michael Beaulac (formerly with Merry Edwards, St. Supery and Pine Ridge). But even amongst the titans that came before him, it seems Beaulac is poised to bring the famous winery to even new heights.
Just last year, they saw their Sonoma Coast Chardonnay on Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 list for wines of the year – an incredible honor especially given the modest price tag, but it’s probably a sign of what’s to come. The last 10-15 years has been non-stop experimenting with different chardonnay clones, as well as vineyard transformations to get to this point. And they’ve got all the resources in the world to be great.
With an insane 1300-acre property with 300 planted acres at their disposal as well as wilderness areas, and a culinary garden, Chalk Hill has become as much a destination as they have a winemaking juggernaut.
But one wine that will never be rated, nor see a top 100 list is the one we have today. That’s not a bad thing – it’s just their ‘secret Chardonnay.’ It’s never released to the general public or retail, only a few hundred cases are made each year to service the restaurant industry. But luckily for us, I’ve got a restaurant.
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