High Valley AVA

High Valley AVA, Shannon Ridge, Credit Nathan DeHart for LCWC

High Valley has a long history of producing quality winegrapes. In the late 1800s, the area was a significant grape-growing region. Prohibition abruptly ended production of wine from High Valley, but today this region is regaining its status as one of the most exciting winemaking areas in the North Coast.

ElevationWith most vineyards planted at elevations between 1,600 feet and 2,400 feet above sea level, and a few as high as 3,000 feet, these are some of the highest-elevation vineyards in California. That fact together with the east-west orientation of High Valley makes this AVA highly unusual among wine appellations in the North Coast – and indeed, within California.
Acres14,759 acres
VarietalsCabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Sirah, & Sauvignon Blanc
SoilsAlluvial soils favor the cultivation of white-wine varieties, but red varieties that fully mature quite late here can produce wines with exquisite balance and elegance. Vineyards on the slopes of Round Mountain are intense in every way. These vines grow on well-drained, bright red soils and steep slopes that experience large temperature swings from day to night. Red varietals grown here can be bold and powerful. The ridges on the west side of the valley are the result of ancient lava flows. The soils on these upper slopes have volcanic characteristics: the shallow sand, gravel, and tephra are free-draining and cause the vines to work hard for water.
ClimateHigh elevation and cool temperatures characterize the region as a whole, but it is possible to distinguish three distinct growing areas within the High Valley AVA: the valley floor, the slopes and hill tops on the east side of the valley near Round Mountain, and the ridge line above Clear Lake on the west side. The valley floor is one of the coolest spots in Lake County, and winegrapes ripen very slowly, especially as the days get shorter and the angle of the sun changes. Cooling breezes that cross the valley from Clear Lake and the Pacific coast contribute to the long growing season.



    LCWC Finance Committee Meeting 10:00 am
    LCWC Finance Committee Meeting @ Video Conference
    Jun 13 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
    Agenda – LCWC Finance Committee Meeting, June 13, 2024
    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
    Jun 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, June 25, 2024
    LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
    LCWC Board Meeting @ LCWC Office
    Jun 25 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, June 25, 2024
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management 7:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
    Jun 26 @ 7:30 am – 11:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
    In-the-Vineyard Tailgate Session for Spanish -Speaking Vineyard Workers LEARN HOW TO… Assess, restore, and maintain soil health Implement sustainable farming practices Develop irrigation management plans Event Details Wednesday, June 26, 2024 7:30 a.m. – 11:30[...]
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays 4:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    Jun 26 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    You are invited to attend the Grower Conversation series hosted by Lake County Winegrowers. This series aims to connect growers, buyers, and industry experts to discuss the climate of today’s market. Each conversation will feature[...]
        Skip to content