I often get asked, "Why Lake County?" or "What makes Lake County wines so superior to other California wines?" The answer is simple but complicated, soils - sunlight - climate. In the 1800's grapes were first planted in Lake County and grown until Prohibition (1920-1933). Then again in the 1960's grapes were planted again and today close to ten thousand acres of grapes are grown in the Big Valley AVA of Lake County.
In the early 1900s, wines from Lake County were perennial award winners in prestigious international competitions, earning the area world-class standing that has only recently begun to be reclaimed.
The runoff over thousands of years have eroded the Mayacama's volcanic mountains into alluvial deposits into the Big Valley AVA before reaching the shores of Clear Lake. Geologists estimate this to have happened one and a half million years ago and put Clear Lake as the oldest lake in North America. The deposits are composed of a mix of gravel, clay and loam that form compositions ideal for growing wine grapes.
Add in bright UV sunlight from the 1,400 elevation (10% higher than neighboring sea level valleys) shining through Lake County's purest air quality in California and you get thicker skins, greater tannins, and intense wines with high phenolic content.
The climate in Lake County consists of warm days moderated by the thermal mass of Clear Lake. Afternoon breezes carried down from the ridges of the Mayacama's initiate afternoon cooling that often result in a 50 degree daily temperature swing. The evening cooling is key to maintaining acidity in mature wine grapes.
Please taste and enjoy our Lake County wines!