High Valley AVA

High Valley AVA - Lake County
Appropriately named, this area’s high hanging valley ringed with steep volcanic hillsides produces mountain fruit with great color and structure.

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 extra UV triggers thicker grape skins, greater tannins, and intense wines with high phenolic levels.

Situated above the northeast shores of Clear Lake in Lake County, this distinct growing area is defined by steep mountain ridges rising up to 3,000 feet directly from this hanging valley’s floor at 1,700 feet. Approximately nine miles long and three miles wide, this rare east-west transverse in the Californian coastal range was created by volcanic activity of Round Mountain.

ElevationVineyard elevations range from 1,700 to 2,400 feet.
Acreage977 acres.
VarietalsCabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot, Malbec, Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir.
SoilsThe distinct watershed boundaries of this region determine that soils found within the High Valley area are derived only from parent material found within the basin. Brick-red volcanic cinders and pumice-like gravel and stones allow for superior drainage. The western edge and middle of High Valley are composed of gravelly loams created from eroded Franciscan shales.
ClimateElevation along with the cooling effects of Clear Lake create a natural and perpetual “wind machine.” During July and August, daily temperature swings of 50 degrees are not uncommon. This intense cooling effect promotes good acidity, improved tannic structure, darker color, and more concentrated fruit character.

Lake County AVA Map

One-page overview of the High Valley AVA (PDF)


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