For many years I’ve been hearing about Sonoma’s Chalk Hill Winery. I was always very curious to visit and see what all the talk was and after a recent weekend in Healdsburg staying at Les Mars Hotel, read more about Hotel Les Mars here (also owned by the Foley family who also owns Chalk Hill Winery) I finally experienced this amazing winery and can understand why they have a cult followers of guests who rave about their wines and their extensive winery & vineyard experience. Read more about the recent 2 hour guided Vineyard Culinary experience I enjoyed below and see why this is a Sonoma Winery you must visit and experience for yourself! 10300 Chalk Hill Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Arriving to a warm welcome of this delicious Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc wine. Our tasting was at 10am and this was the perfect light yet flavorful wine to get us warmed up for the next two hours of wine, beauty and an incredible culinary experience.
We were guided into a small van (shown above behind the garden) to drive to the Culinary tasting location. Along the way we stopped at one of the many on site gardens where the vegetables and herbs shared during the Chalk Hill Culinary experience are sourced from. I had heard about these gardens from Chef Shane McNally of Healdsburg’s Chalk Board & Brass Rabbit Restaurants (also owned by Chalk Hill proprietor Bill Foley) as lot of the ingredients served at both of those restaurants are sourced from this spectacular Vineyard’s gardens. Read more about these two restaurants in my Healdsburg Top 10 Restaurant guide here.
The incredible arena space which was originally a horse riding equestrian pavilion and is now used for on site weddings and the culinary tasting experiences are held on the back end in the enclosed private event space. Interesting fact about this arena, it was built with Alaskan Cedar which was given to Fred Adiento (the original owner) after he helped Alaska win the Exxon Valzez oil spill law suit. They actually closed down parts of the 101 highway when this wood was being delivered to the winery when it was first built. Such incredible history at Chalk Hill Winery.
The beautiful path leading from the horse back riding arena to the dining room where the Culinary Food & Wine pairing is held.
Views from the private event space where the Culinary experience is held of the gardens and the main winery tasting room.
The incredibly spacious, stunning dining room over looking the horseback riding arena where our Culinary tasting was held.
The beautiful table we were seated at with stunning vineyard and garden views
The first wine we tried was the 2016 Chalk Hill Windy Ridge Sauvignon Blanc. This was a bit creamier which I enjoyed, and less bright and citrus than the first Sauvignon Blanc we were welcomed with in the tasting room.
Ricotta & Spelt Gnocchi paired with the Windy Ridge Sauvignon Blanc. This was an incredible course, the gnocchi was so tasty with a lemon taste which paired perfectly with the Sauvignon Blanc.
The 2015 Chalk Hill Felta Chardonnay
Chardonnay time which is always great news for me. The second course was the 2015 Felta Chardonnay paired with Chili Poached Shrimp, Heirloom Polenta and a Parmesan Crisp. This was another incredible course, so light with the shrimp but the polenta and parmesan crisp were great with this Chardonnay. The Chardonnay definitely reflected the oak barrel so for those who prefer a lighter less oaky Chardonnay this may not be Chardonnay for you!
The Chalk Hill 2016 Mt. Eden Clone Pinot Noir
Third course was a Kale Caldo Verde with housemade sausage, confit garlic paired back to The Chalk Hill 2016 Mt. Eden Clone Pinot Noir. This was described to us as a Cabernet lovers Pinot Noir and I cold not agree more. It was extremely heavy with very very dark fruits. As a Pinot Noir lover, this may have been a bit too rich for me but it’s a great Pinot Noir for Cabernet lovers as it really does taste more like a Cabernet than a Pinot Noir. This course was incredible (yet again). The presentation and the rich flavors of the soup were divine!
The fourth course which was Pork Belly with Estate Bok Choy, sticky rice cake paired with the Chalk Hill Estate Saba Hoisin (the leftover grapes from the Syrah wine they make).
One of the other guests in our group was celebrating her birthday so the Chalk Hill Winery team surprised her with an incredible dessert. What a lovely touch and it was so delicious, she shared it with the entire group!
Wrapping up the tasting and heading back on the van to the main Winery tasting room. Wow that experience was amazing. A perfectly paired meal with delicious wines and over the top incredible food. Chalk Hill Winery really knows how to pamper their guests.