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Behind the Wine

Lake County – Great wine from humble country

The 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 better than simple words.

highway 29 sign to lake county
It’s just a short drive up from Napa
Lake County vineyards under a bright blue sky
Beautiful wine country, that at first resembles a lot of northern California
lake county vineyards with big tree in foreground and burn marks on ground
But the soils quickly change in the Red Hills on the foot of Mt Konocti

 

bendy mountain road in lake county
Bending mountain roads and high altitudes

 

A truly rural setting, the next photos take a look at the signs of civilization. This is agriculture country (ag country for short) and it doesn’t pretend to be a fancy tourist destination for rich San Franciscans.

 

great pyrenees sheep dog
Until you go into a winery, you might see more sheep dogs than people

 

horse strolling through lake county field
Not just dogs. This is definitely ag country.

 

red hills dirt in lake county
When you go out into the vineyards, the deep red soils in the Red Hills resemble the surface of a craggy alien planet

 

Clear Lake in Lake County
Where the Clear Lake meets the cerulean sky, there’s an impossibly bright blue that just wraps around you

 

Lake County vineyards at Laujor
The whole region feels dominated by these sharply contrasted colors

 

the side of the Mt Konocti growers' cooperative winery building with the name painted in big block lettering
The human influence of the farmers in Mt. Konocti seems restrained and quiet

 

The winemakers sort of blend into the background – none of the multimillion dollar wineries you see dotting highway 29 in Napa.

 

Clear Lake high water after the flooding and rains
And everywhere you look, there are signs of the beautifully wild natural setting pushing back. The Clear Lake rising well above its normal height after the heavy rains this winter.

 

Some trees damaged by the fires in Lake County
Some parts of the serene settings still show signs of fire damage from last year and the year before

 

close up of fire-damaged tree in Lake County
But even these trees show signs of regrowth and healing. Lake County is a living place

 

Kelseyville sign
And so it’s a riveting setting for “A friendly country town…”

 

Lake County and Clear Lake on a road map
We’re already planning our next trip to this historic wine region!
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[…] Back when California’s wine industry was just getting its footing, Chicago was constructing the most grandiose display in the nation: The Columbia Exposition, otherwise known as the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. And Lake County wine was one of its star features – a showcase of the mesmerizing wines coming from one of California’s most visually stunning landscapes. […]

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