Chiles Valley

Although small, Chiles Valley is one of the premier wine regions in the state of California. More than 6,000 acres comprise Chiles Valley; however, only a little more than 1,000 acres are planted vineyards. While Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in other regions, Zinfandel is king in Chiles Valley. When touring Chiles Valley, you will find a small group of small wineries. The well drained soil and warm climate in this region have made it capable of producing outstanding Zinfandel wines in addition to excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. During the evenings and at night, the cooling winds blow through this region, creating a situation where the growing season in Chiles Valley is able to begin and end later than most adjacent regions. You …

Donnington Castle

Donnington Castle crowns a hill above the River Lambourne, a mile north of Newbury, Sir Richard Abberbury, the queen’s chamberlain, obtained a license crenellate the place in 1386. In 1414 Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet, purchased the castle and through him it passed to the De la Pole dukes of Suffolk. Donnington is notable for its role in the Civil War. After the first Battle of Newbury, Charles I entrusted the castle to Colonel (later Sir) John Boys. The Roundheads laid siege in July 1644 but were unable to take it in spite of a fierce artillery bombardment. The King marched to the relief of the castle and the second Battle of Newbury was fought around it in October. …