While the grapes for Chalone Vineyard Estate come from their high mountain estate, the grapes for the Monterey County wines come from distinct vineyards in the 75-mile long Salinas Valley, which begins in Monterey Bay and runs southeastward. Ancient volcanoes, active faults and tectonic plate movement created the Santa Lucia and Gavilan Mountain ranges, which flank the valley. The mountains form a wind tunnel, drawing cool ocean breezes off the Pacific Ocean into the valley. The cool air causes the vines to shut down and delays ripening of the grapes, leading to a longer growing season and hang time that results in intense fruit flavors.
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