Why have wines from Lake County garnered so much praise and respect?

It’s simple: air, land, sun, water – and people.

  • The purest air in California.
  • Bright and abundant sun with up to 10% more ultraviolet light than in regions at or near sea level, leading to thicker skins and a higher concentration of phenolics (the flavor components in wine).
  • Among the highest elevations, with most vineyards planted above 1,500' and some as high as 3,000' in elevation.
  • Colder winters and low humidity, creating the conditions for vines to thrive while producing exceptionally complex flavors.

And of course, the people. Lake County winegrape growers combine the latest technologies with traditional viticultural practices, emphasizing long-term sustainability for the environment and the region.

We invite you to explore the region through this website. Click on the "pathways" below to learn more about the Lake County wine region, including how volcanics have shaped the region, how climate impacts the vineyards, why stewardship is so important, and why Lake County’s wines are as distinct as the region that produces them.

One of the most widely grown varieties in the region is Cabernet Sauvignon, which pairs nicely with recipes such as grilled lamb meatballs.



Tectonics shaped the region


Elevation + Wind + Sunlight


Topography, soils, microclimates


Meet the grape growers and winemakers


As distinct as the region itself


Caring for the land, people, and community



Clay Shannon, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, (c) Nathan DeHart

Meet Clay Shannon

Clay Shannon farms over 1,600 acres of winegrapes in Lake County, raises grass fed lamb, and heads up Shannon Ridge Family of Wines. The recipient of numerous accolades, he was named to the 2013 list of America’s 100 Most Influential Winemakers by Schiller Wine, a daily international wine blog.

Learn More



“Boom: Rare Volcanic Wines Are Getting Poured Around the Globe”: Growing grapes on the scorched slopes of a volcano that’s still spewing fire, smoke, and lava is as extreme as viticulture gets. The reward for the risk — in some cases, grapes are grown on volcanoes that could erupt at any time — is the world’s most exciting wines. Learn More


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Lake County AVA Map (thumbnail), (c) Barb DeMarco