Today Lake County is home to more than 30 wineries and 180 growers with over 9,500 acres producing winegrapes. “We have gone from historical to traditional to professional,” notes Peter Molnar, Past Chair of the Lake County Winegrape Commission. “Sustainable growing efforts are central to Lake County’s approach.Lake County winegrape growers combine the latest technologies with traditional viticultural practices, emphasizing long-term sustainability for the environment and the region."
Vineyards are at the heart of producing world-class wines. Lake County winegrapes lend themselves perfectly to quality programs, and they provide a great value to North Coast wineries. But ultimately it comes down to the people. Owners, managers, foremen, and experienced vineyard workers are key to bringing out the best of our vineyards.
“Lake County has a dedicated cadre of professional winegrape growers,” said LCWC President Debra Sommerfield. “They are focused on quality, they work hard, and they care about their land, their workers, the environment, and our community.”
Mitch and Tracey Hawkins at Hawk and Horse Vineyards, photo credit Rocco Ceselin
Meet Mitch and Tracey Hawkins
Mitch and Tracey Hawkins and the Boies Family are the proprietors of Hawk and Horse Vineyards. Its mountain vineyards are situated at elevations up to 2,200 feet in Lake County. Hawk and Horse Vineyards is also home to cattle, competitive rodeo horses, and an enormous range of wildlife, from red-tailed hawks and owls to bear, wild boar, bobcats, mountain lions. The ranch has a plaque documenting the historical location of El Roble Grande, the largest Valley Oak ever recorded in California. Read more about Hawk and Horse Vineyards.
Andy Beckstoffer & son David at Amber Knolls Vineyard, photo credit Scott Strazzante, SF Chronicle
Meet Andy Beckstoffer
Click here to learn more about how Andy is betting big on Lake County as the next great Cab region.
Meet Clay Shannon
Clay Shannon is President and CEO of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines. He grew up in Healdsburg and ran a large vineyard management company in the Central Valley before moving to Lake County.
In 1996, Shannon bought his home ranch property with 80 acres of volcanic soils and elevations rising to 2,500 feet in High Valley. Today, Clay 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 2013 list of America’s 100 Most Influential Winemakers by Schiller Wine, a daily international wine blog.
Clay describes himself as “normal people – We shake hands, we say thank you, we say please.” Things he is passionate about: Lake County wine, family, farming the north coast and taking care of mother earth. Click the link below to hear more about Clay and his philosophy as a grower in the latest video on Shannon Ranch Values.
Lake County Winegrape Commission - Over 25 Years of Marketing, Research, & Education
Established in 1991, the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) has been instrumental in developing the Lake County region’s unwavering commitment to farming high-quality winegrapes. A state agency with oversight by the California Department of Food & Agriculture, LCWC represents approximately 180 winegrape growers farming approximately 9,500 acres of vineyards in Lake County and works on behalf of those growers in the areas of marketing, research, and education.
Visit the Lake County Winegrape Commission website here