Located in the heart of Northern California, the Lake County wine region lies north of San Francisco Bay, about a two hours drive from the San Francisco bridge. The region is bordered by Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties on the west. Lake County’s higher elevation, volcanic soils, and unique climate make this region ideal for successfully cultivating a diverse number of varieties.
Additionally, Lake County is one of California’s fastest growing wine regions, encompassing just over 9,000 acres of vineyards. The region is home to at least thirty wineries. Over 200 other California wine labels outside of this area by most of the grapes grown here.
This regions wine tasting experience was pleasantly surprising. Though the Lake County wine will never be, nor need to be, as flashy and decadent as Napa wine. Yet they are equal in quality. Plus, wines from this region are diverse, including quirky, odd varietal wines. Furthermore, these varied wines at a reasonable price point are EXACTLY what wine consumers need.
Brassfield Winery was our first stop on our Lake County wineries adventure.The stainless steel fermented Chardonnay was particularly lovely and the Riesling and Gewürtztraminer also showed well. At Brassfield, we learned there are two dormant volcanoes on each side of Clear Lake; Mount Konocti and Ram Mountain. In fact, volcanic soils contribute greatly to the complexity of this region’s wines.
Next, we stopped at Langtry Vineyards, the only winery in Guenoc Valley AVA. Langtry has a great selection of classic Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc) and a Petite Sirah that was a stand out. Langtry offered ripe and robust California wines with bright acidity.
Finally, on the last day of our wine tasting tour we visited Rosa d’Oro’s tasting room in downtown Kelseyville. Rosa d’Oro is a small, family owned winery with a penchant for Italian grape varieties. The tasting room was intimate and cozy. Rosa d’Oro’s Negro Amaro and Primitivo were delicious, but the Barbera spectacular.
Check out the video and let us know if you make it to Lake County!