OVIS: Our Finest Collection Yet
Take a stroll through our land — more like a hike, really — and miles of rolling hills and pristine vineyards greet you in every direction. There’s a reason the hilltops seem to wave back, brushed side to side in the breeze.
Hint: it’s not that third glass of Cabernet.
It’s no secret that Clay Shannon is a farmer first. His love of protecting mother earth and cultivating the land is infectious, and drives everything we do here at Shannon Ridge. His methods are no mystery; the key to our success is the Ovis Cycle. It’s all about the sheep.
With the help of our working dogs, over 1200 wooly heads pick their way through the vineyards, eating basil leaves, trunk suckers, and excess foliage from the grapevines. As a result, they produce natural fertilizer, further enriching the soil. Our sheep also consume cover crops, dry grasses, and other leaf material, reducing fuel for wildfires and offering natural protection for the whole property. But that’s not all.
Lake County’s elevation and climate offers a challenging environment for vegetation; wind has eroded the hilltops over the years, compromising growth. To counteract this and feed the sheep, Clay planted cover crops — clovers, beans, peas, mustard, etc. — reinvigorating the landscape. The sheep, in turn, offer enough fertilizer for our crop to withstand these forces of erosion.
The vineyards feed the sheep, the sheep feed the vines; lamb feeds the people, people drink the wine and wear wool. This cyclical farming system brings new vitality for future generations to enjoy. We’re cultivating and nurturing a way of life that reduces our need for fossil fuels and herbicides, and produces amazing grass-fed lamb and wool products for local businesses as far as Sacramento and San Francisco.
Grape vines are remarkably resilient. They can grow just about anywhere, and just about anybody can make wine with a little practice and online help. Great wine, on the other hand, comes from the bounty offered by land well tended, and the expertise of a winemaker who knows how to showcase its fruit. The land comes first.
Years of cultivation and study have led us to the very finest small lots on our property, and we are ready to release our most extraordinary wines yet: OVIS. In honor of our flock, our dogs, and the earth’s generous return, each expression of our 2016 vintage awaits the enjoyment of a lucky few.
We hope each sip is rivaled only by the pride we feel in these amazing wines. Cheers!
To learn more about the Ovis Cycle and our sustainable farming practices, click here.