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.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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