Behind the Wine

What Napa and Sonoma winemakers drink when nobody’s watching…

There’s a dirty secret in wine country…

Even though Napa Cab is the most famous wine in the country, a lot of the people who make big bold reds like to sneak off and drink other people’s wines from time to time.

Every now and then you’ll even catch us drinking a beer (or two!)

So… would you like to know what wine famous Napa winemakers like to drink?!

After all, they’re experts.

They know when a region’s soil and climate make it perfect for making great wine long before the rest of the world catches on.

Lake County vineyards at Laujor
The soil on the “Red Hill” slopes of Mt Konocti are distinctly red… and the vines make distinctive reds too!

The next big thing is:

Lake County, California.

This region has 3 strengths winemakers love:

  1. Perfect geographic location
  2. Unique weather and soil
  3. A history of great winemaking

Much of Lake County was actually part of Napa County until 1861

The area shares a border with Napa County and Sonoma County. And before it was created in 1861, a large section of modern Lake County was actually part of Napa County!

So it’s just a stone’s throw away from some very famous and expensive vineyards.

Here’s Tom Shula, one of our beloved Sonoma winemakers talking about this up-and-coming region:

Many of the soil types in Napa County extend into Lake County, and grapes were grown there as early as the 1840s.  It has a variety of microclimates and soil types, and much of the county is well suited to the classic Bordeaux varietals.

The region has demonstrated a potential to produce great wines, and many big players have been planting extensively there.  Some actually believe it has the potential to rival or exceed many wines from Napa.

Tom Shula, Sonoma winemaker famous for work with Pickberry Vineyard

And as Tom explains above, Lake County has the perfect location which gives it the special climate and soil it needs to make great wines. Look forward to his show-stopping Malbec which blends fruit from the Big Valley area with some sustainably grown Lodi fruit.

red hills dirt in lake county
The red soils in the Red Hills on the side of Mt Konocti

Lake County vineyards have been turning heads since the 1800s

And that history continues to the modern day.

Some of the biggest names in Napa and Sonoma are investing big in the region like Andy Beckstoffer and Reynaldo Robledo (yes, that’s Angel-funded winemaker Everardo Robeldo‘s family vineyard).

And if that’s what they drink…

When your Angel-funded winemakers get very excited about Lake County, we want them to make some Lake County wines for us!

This year, you’ll see the following winemakers working with fruit from this area:

  • Camille Benitah, the original Merus winemaker
  • David Marchesi, the iconic winemaker from Napa’s Paraduxx and Sonoma’s Gundlach Bundschu
  • Franc Dusak, the Winery Director in your Angel-funded Sonoma winery

And blends that include Lake County fruit are being made by:

  • Tom Shula, famous for his Pickberry wine in northern Sonoma
  • Scott Peterson, the talent behind our highly rated Napa Drummer wines

You’ll be drinking Lake County too!

Lake County and Clear Lake on a road mapThere’s a couple ways to get in on the action. Some of the wines are already live on the site as we publish this post. Others will be released imminently.

Follow the winemakers to get all the juicy details when the wines come out.

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[…] team got to do a cool roadtrip to Lake County, California to explore some of our winemakers’ investments up there. They brought back some really beautiful pictures that tell the story of Lake County […]

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