8 Great Lake County Winery Adventures

Lake County is a natural wonderland: home to a plethora of wildlife, mighty Mount Konocti, splendid Clear Lake, and award-winning wineries with breathtaking views.

Published: 12/24/2013

Lake County is a natural wonderland: home to a plethora of wildlife, mighty Mount Konocti, splendid Clear Lake, and award-winning wineries with breathtaking views. This pristine wine country is surprisingly easy to get to from San Francisco, Sacramento, and the Napa Valley (just 20 minutes from Calistoga), and lots of fun adventures await—so come explore!

 

Brassfield Estate Winery 

This beautiful winery sits in the western section of High Valley. The private winery tour starts with a driving tour through the magnificent vineyards. You'll see where the grapes come from and learn more about Brassfield. Next, you'll get to walk through the winery's 15,000 square feet of completed wine caves and learn about barrels, aging, and winemaking. A delicious and informative cheese and wine pairing session follows.

LENGTH 1 1/2 to 2 hours

PRICE $40/$30 wine club members

APPOINTMENT at least 4 days in advance

brassfieldestate.com

 

Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery 

Located along Highway 20, the vineyards and winery make an ideal picnic stop for wine lovers traveling to or from the Mendocino Coast. Set in a natural wonderland that is often graced by tule elk, Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery has been focused on completing its new tasting room. Soon, an observation deck will be constructed to give guests a full vantage point of the vineyard, the tule elk, and other wildlife that stop to graze. For now, munch on sandwiches while you watch for wildlife. If you're interested in a tour, call ahead.

LENGTH to be determined

PRICE Free

APPOINTMENT required in advance

cachecreekvineyards.com

 

Gregory Graham 

This stunning vineyard in the Red Hills near Lower Lake offers a great view of Clear Lake. With a little advance notice, you can join owner Gregory Graham on a personal tour of his vineyards. Gregory is a highly respected winegrower and he'll gladly share his knowledge of the area and what makes his particular vineyards so special. Then you can visit the tasting room to sample the current release wines and get a peek at the working winery.

LENGTH 1 hour

PRICE Free

APPOINTMENT required in advance

ggwines.com

 

Hawk and Horse Vineyards 

If you like horses, head to Hawk and Horse Vineyards. The historical ranch is a great place to tour and taste. The owners, Mitch and Tracey Hawkins, or one of their entertaining ranch hands, can take you on a tour of the Biodynamic ranch and mountain vineyard estate. See the Scottish Highland cattle, American Saddlebred horses, and American Quarter horses and then enjoy the award-winning wines overlooking lush horse pastures. The ranch tour includes access to picnic grounds and complimentary wine tasting.

LENGTH 45 minutes

PRICE $45 per person

APPOINTMENT required in advance

hawkandhorsevineyards.com

 

Langtry Estate & Vineyards 

You won't have to pack a picnic lunch, if you sign up for Langtry's Tephra Vineyard Lunch Tour. This tour takes you to the high elevation Tephra Ridge Vineyard which boasts a spectacular view of Guenoc Valley. You'll learn about the prized Bordeaux grape varieties that grow on Tephra Ridge and then enjoy lunch at the vineyard, accompanied by samples of Langtry Estate and Guenoc wines. Tue-Sun 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

LENGTH 2 hours

PRICE $45/$40 wine club

APPOINTMENT required in advance

langtryestate.com

 

Moore Family Vineyards 

This family-run winery is so laid back and friendly, you're not only likely to meet the winemaker, he may be nearby cutting the grass when you arrive! This beautiful property has plenty of little adventures in store: play bocce and horseshoe, stroll through the vineyards, walk to the caves and ponds. The lower pond has fish in it and you're welcome to bring a rod and reel along. When you call in advance, someone in the Moore family will tour you around and Hospitality Manager and Wedding Coordinator Stepheny Moore Johnson can even arrange a picnic for you.

LENGTH 1 hour

PRICE Free

APPOINTMENT required 1 day in advance

moorefamilywinery.com

 

Vigilance Winery & Vineyards 

Owners Margarita and Clay Shannon chose the name vigilance for their winery after watching their sheepdogs carefully guard their flock of 1,000 sheep. The winery tasting room overlooks Clear Lake and the Anderson Marsh. It's a great place to watch the sheep graze, play bocce, or put on your hiking boots and take the Red Hills Terroir Trail, a scenic 1.25-mile loop path that leads you through vineyards and natural landscapes to Gregory Graham Winery and back. There's a pocket guide, complete with a detailed map and trail highlights, to show you the way.

LENGTH 45 minutes

PRICE Free

APPOINTMENT not required

vigilancewinery.com

 

Six Sigma Ranch and Winery 

This amazing property located in the wilds just south of Clear Lake, is a must-visit. The tasting room is located two miles from the paved road at a historic stagecoach stop. Climb aboard the Six Sigma Ranch Pinzgauer for a very bumpy ascent to the high-altitude Diamond Mine Vineyard (Lake County diamonds are a semi-precious gem unique to Lake County). You'll return (we promise) to the historic Stage Coach House for a tasting of current Six Sigma Winery releases.

LENGTH 90 minutes

PRICE $125 for groups of 2 to 10

APPOINTMENT required 1 day in advance

sixsigmaranch.com

 


As seen in the issue Spring 2014 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.