Red Hills AVA

Red Hills AVA - Lake County
Dramatic high elevation volcanic hillsides producing intense mountain fruit with great color and structure.

TopographyLocated in the northern Mayacamas Mountains, the Red Hills of Lake County frame the southwest edge of Clear Lake. Comprised of dozens of volcanic hills ranging from 1,350 to over 3,700 feet above sea level, the appellation lies right over the North Coast Magna Pocket. As a result, the Red Hills are the latest formation of the volcanic and tectonic processes that created many of the famous hillside regions of the North Coast.
ElevationVineyard elevations range from 1,350 to 2,600 feet with the majority of the AVA’s acreage planted at or over 2,000 feet. 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 triggers thicker grape skins, greater tannins, and intense wines with high phenolic content.
SoilsVolcanic origin from neighboring Mount Konocti, producing well-drained vineyards rich in black obsidian, quartz crystals and volcanic gravel content, and strikingly red in color. Three general soil types predominate: Glenview-Bottlerock- Arrowhead, Konocti-Benridge, and Collayomi-Aiken.
Acreage3,250 acres
ClimateWith vineyards starting at 1,350 feet and reaching up to 2,600 feet above sea level, Red Hills of Lake County grapes are grown in mountain climate conditions. Upper level airflows from the Pacific Ocean combine with many local convections to moderate daytime highs. Low relative humidity and varied topography permit quick radiative cooling of ridgetop vineyards in the late afternoon and evenings. Both factors allow for good acid retention during ripening. Cold winters and dry summer conditions are an important factor in Lake County’s reduced pesticide and other application rates, one of the lowest in California.
VarietalsCabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Zinfandel.

Lake County AVA Map

One-page overview of the Red Hills AVA (PDF)


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