Big Valley District AVA
Runoff over millennia have eroded the Mayacamas’ young volcanic foothills of Kelsey Bench into the ancient clays and deposits of Big Valley on the shores of Clear Lake, North America’s oldest lake, estimated to be two and a half million years old. Big Valley’s mix of gravel, clay and loam, bright sunlight from the 1,400 feet elevation, and cool nights produces remarkable Sauvignon Blancs, establishing Lake County as one of the premier California regions for the varietal. Along with the volcanic Kelsey Bench, the gravel seams in Big Valley produce intense and balanced Zinfandels and Cabernet Francs.
Big Valley growers were among the first visionaries to discover the region’s winegrape potential and began planting vineyards in the 1960s, the first in Lake County since Prohibition.
|Topography||Bordered by Clearlake on the north, the Mayacamas on the west and south, and Mount Konocti on the east, Big Valley is a structural basin that is part of the larger Clear Lake basin.|
|Elevation||Vineyard elevations range from 1,330 to 1,440 feet in Big Valley. Higher elevations and Lake County’s pure air allow for greater levels of UV light, as much as 10% more than neighboring sea level valleys. This UV intensity triggers thicker skins, greater tannins, and intense wines with high phenolic content.|
|Soils||The evolving watershed has eroded into the fertile blocks of clay and loam soils of Big Valley, resulting in swaths of gravel deposits and well-drained soils.|
|Acreage||3,288 acres (Big Valley and Kelsey Bench)|
|Climate||Warms days are moderated by the thermal mass of Clear Lake. Afternoon breezes carry down from the ridges of the Mayacamas and initiate afternoon cooling that often results in 50° diurnal cycles, key to retaining acidity in mature wine grapes. Cold winters and dry summers allow for low rates of pesticide and other applications.|
|Varietals||Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viogner, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel and Merlot.|
LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office and Video Conference
May 3 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Community Industry Relations Committee Meeting, May 3, 2022
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 1:00 pm
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office and Video Conference
May 10 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, May 10, 2022
LCWC Board Meeting 2:00 pm
Webinar – Water Resilience for Vineyards in Drought 8:00 am
Webinar – Water Resilience for Vineyards in Drought
May 11 @ 8:00 am – May 12 @ 12:00 pm
Join some of the top experts in viticulture and water to learn about policy, regulations, and strategies to cope with drought in vineyards. When: May 11 – 12, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Topics include:[...]
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