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Stony Hill Chardonnay Napa Valley 2013

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If we had to pick one word to characterize our Stony Hill wines it would be balance. We aim to achieve a balance between the intensely flavored fruit from our hillside vineyards and the notable acidity that gives the wine structure and aging potential. 

Our goal is simply to translate the intense fruitiness of our grapes into elegant, food friendly wines. Over the years we have remained true to this original style, which we think is the most appropriate for our particular hillside grown grapes.

Light, lithe and elusive, this wine begs for time in the glass to develop, and it changes as it goes, maintaining a persistence of exotic Asian spice and citrus, stony minerality and a dash of lemon peel. Green apple also shines through, the texture of the wine crisp yet complex. 

Stony Hill sits high on the side of Spring Mountain, between the towns of St. Helena and Calistoga. Our approximately 30 acres of vineyard lie on a steep slope between Richie Creek to the north and Mill Creek to the south. Moderating climatic influences such as northeast exposure and an elevation between 800 and 1550 feet make this mild microclimate an ideal location for growing our grapes.

The bright, mineral backbone of our wines is a credit to the volcanic mountain soils and, far beneath the surface, limestone rock. Our dedication to dry farming over the last 65+ years has forced the vines to stretch roots ever deeper year after year, delivering the Stony Hill’s distinctive sense of place straight to the grapes at the surface. 

Rather than harvesting just by flavor, Mike Chelini closely monitors the grapes’ development and will pick when the moment the pH begins to increase and natural acidity drops. The result is grapes with enough acid to last for decades, along with the complex flavor profiles that unfold only after several years of bottle age. 

Stony Hill’s vineyards are Napa Green Certified, and have been dry-farmed since their inception. Even throughout periods of drought, our natural springs and abundant groundwater have proven sufficient for wine growing. 

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