The Red Hills, Our Diamond in The Rough

Just North of the Napa County border sits our little piece of the world— land we are proud of, soil that produces quality wine that is accessible to consumers. The Red Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area) share many of Napa’s crucial characteristics.Most of the vines are planted at 2,000 feet or higher and the terrain, while ideal for winemaking, is rocky and tough. So, what is the future for this special land, our diamond in the rough?

As Napa prices soar, so does the appeal of Lake County and the Red Hills AVA. Some argue that Lake County is merely an “understudy” to Napa, quietly waiting for its moment in the spotlight. The reality is quite the contrary, as the Red Hills proves time and again its ability to produce distinctive wines of quality.

At Shannon Ridge, we firmly believe that a good solid bottle of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t need to cost a fortune to be fantastic. There is something special about a bottle of high-quality Cabernet at an approachable price point, because after all, wine is meant to be shared and enjoyed by many.

As it becomes more difficult and expensive to plant in Napa, some believe that Lake County should follow suit and go down the road of $150 bottles. However, our own Clay Shannon has a different opinion. “We can’t be too greedy, the beauty of the hills is that we sell good wine that’s affordable. It adds value.” Lake County’s combined value and quality make it a unique place, and the Shannon family continues to produce wines that we are proud of without compromising our values.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Lake County and the Red Hills. If 25 wineries vinified Lake County fruit in the late 90s, and about 200 do today, who knows what 10 years from now will bring? Our goal is to take this good land to make good wine for good people, while allowing the Red Hills to maintain its character and stay true to its roots. And that is the “beauty of the hills.”

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