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High Valley – Lake County’s Most Unique AVA

Shannon Ridge Vineyard in foreground with Clear Lake and Mountain in Background
California is filled with beautiful and unique wine-growing regions, but none quite as exciting as the High Valley AVA. It sits at over 1,600 to 3,000 feet above sea level with a ring of mountains surrounding a volcanic valley. Back in the 1870s, High Valley created a name for itself as one of California’s largest wine producing regions before Prohibition. When viticulture came to a standstill during Prohibition, the valley was reworked for crops such as walnuts and prunes. Now, High Valley is home to some of the most intriguing winemaking in California. But what exactly makes it one of the most unique growing regions?

As well as being one of the steepest vineyard groups in Northern California, it is also one of the only transverse valleys. This orientation (East-West) and elevation is not only rare for Lake County but is also extremely uncommon for the California Coastal Range. The cylindrical shape of the valley allows for superior drainage and great exposure to sunlight. Additionally, the mixture of volcanic debris from Mt Konocti and Franciscan soils make High Valley home to some of the most distinguishable red wines.

Another component of the High Valley is its location in Lake County. As a result, this AVA is a rare fluctuation of altitude and temperature between the daytime and nighttime. Its location next to Clear Lake allows for cooling winds that funnel through the valley. This makes it one of the coldest AVAs in Lake County with a marine breeze that allows us to produce balanced, powerful fruit.

 

At Shannon Ridge, we are passionate about producing fruit as special as the High Valley AVA itself. We utilize all of the aspects that make High Valley unique to create wine that is sustainably produced and enjoyed by many. Come visit one of our two tasting rooms and experience it for yourself!