Lake County Winery Association


Excellence from top to bottom



Gutsy winemakers willing to bust out of the same old same old winemaking box is the secret sauce that has built Lake County Wines. From multigenerational growers to tech-driven winemakers, and Gold Rush pioneers to Danish immigrants, there’s a little bit of everyone in Lake County winemaking. Valuing tradition, but not tied to it, we celebrate winemakers that are willing to try new things, take risks and push the winemaking envelope – again and again. That said, you’ll see everything from 100% organic wines being made with the feisty help of sheep charged with cover crop control in the vineyards to native yeasts and carbonic maceration in the cellar, not to mention carbon neutral wineries and oh, so much more! Speaking of people, Andy Beckstoffer, celebrity vineyard owner and legendary wine grape grower, has chosen to put some serious vines down in Lake County. We are happy to host over 1700 acres of Beckstoffer vineyards here in Lake County as testament to the people and place of this up-and-coming wine mecca. Come meet the regional winemaking teams that make some of the best volcanic wines on the planet – energetic, approachable, genuine, and versatile – just like the wines they make.


Earth, wind, and fire… and a lake. We’ve got it all! Clinging to the sides of a volcano, literally 35 miles of winding road from Calistoga (and way less snooty), Lake County is known for its dynamic volcanic soils, thanks to nearby Mount Konocti (still deemed “active”). Warm days, cools nights, a consistent breeze from the surrounding mountains and the cooling effects of the region’s namesake, Clear Lake, collide to form the matrix for growing really good grapes. Add rich alluvial soils from volcanic rock, elements of elevation, and sustainable farming practices and good grapes become extraordinary wines. Today there are over 160 gutsy winegrowers and 30+ wineries, specializing in volcanic-driven Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, remarkable Tempranillo and more.

We have nine recognized sub-appellations: Clear Lake AVA, High Valley AVA, Guenoc Valley AVA, Red Hills – Lake County AVA, Big Valley District – Lake County AVA, Kelsey Bench – Lake County AVA, Upper Lake Valley AVA, Long Valley – Lake County AVA and Benmore Valley AVA. Each AVA is bursting with its own sense of place, distinct terroir built on unique volcanic soils and microclimates, which ultimately give rise to compelling wines of quality and consistency.