Lake County wine country


Written by:

Joe Becerra

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lake county wine country
lake county wine country
View from Vigilance winery tasting room in Lake County

Lake County wine country

This is a view of the vineyards below the Vigilance Winery & Vineyards tasting room taken a few years ago in Lake County wine country. These vineyards are located in what is known as the Red Hills AVA, or wine appellation. Clear Lake is in the background and just at the shore is a bird sanctuary, Anderson Marsh. Visitors to the Vigilance tasting room can take a stroll down Anderson Marsh.  Lake County wine country is quiet and secluded compared to the Napa Valley to the south. There are few wineries in Lake County but the vineyard lands are growing by leaps and bounds.  Many Napa Valley wineries have vineyards in Lake County or contract with growers in Lake County. Andy Beckstoffer, one of Napa Valley’s premier vineyard growers, has developed a sizable number of vineyard acres in Lake County. Lake County  wine country is quite a driving trek. There is no easy way to get in or out of the area.  Most travelers get there by taking Highway 29 through Calistoga and Middletown to get to Clear Lake.  Much of the soil in Lake County is volcanic and in many places similar to the Napa Valley. Both the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountain Ranges that form the Napa Valley extend to Lake County and Clear Lake.  Clay Shannon is the most notable grower and wine producer in Lake County. He and his wife Margarita own both Vigilance and Shannon Vineyards. All the Shannon vineyards are sustainably farmed. I have tasted wines produced by Vigilance and Shannon at many fine supermarkets. Their wines are excellent values.

Consult the Lake County Wine Association for more details on visiting the Lake County wine country.  We recommend these wineries and tasting rooms on a trip to this fascinating wine area of California.

  • Langtry Estate & Vineyards
  • Vigilance Tasting Room
  • Gregory Graham Wines
  • Brassfield Estate
  • Ceågo Vinegarden
  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

1 thought on “Lake County wine country”

  1. Wonderful area and prime for many grape varietals. The negative is it is way off the beaten track and accommodations are limited at best. Many high level Napa wineries are getting fruit from Lake County and using it in their blends. Image is a huge problem with Lake County. Good wines but not an ideal setting for people to drive for the day. Driving in from 101 is not a fun drive. Rather go through Calistoga for a more restful and picture perfect drive. You can find good deals… In my book not worth all the time for what you get in return with respect to wine. They need a big time PR program to bring people in for longer than a day.

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