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October is a popular time of the year for visiting vineyards. The harvesting is wrapping up, the winemaking is in process and the foliage is at its peak.  This month we are featuring our Napa Valley sweetheart – Shannon Ridge Vineyard and Winery.


A bit about the Shannons and their winery….Both natives of California’s wine country, Clay and Margarita Shannon met while working at a Napa Valley winery. From there, they went on to build a vineyard management and development company. Their goal was to produce wines that tasted like perfectly ripe grapes on the day they were harvested. In the late 1980’s, they began working with wine grapes from Lake County and recognized the area’s potential to grow great mountain fruit.

In 1995, they purchased a mountain property in the High Valley appellation in Lake County, about 35 miles north of the Napa county line. At altitudes of 2,100 to 2,400 feet above sea level these steep mountain ridges are cooled by steady winds off Clear Lake and from the higher northern peaks. The lean, rocky volcanic soils promised to make the vines produce small berries with concentrated flavors. Their first vineyard on the ridge was Terre Vermeille. Planted in two phases, they started with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. After that, they added Petite Verdot, Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.


Stretching across these mountain ridges, the vineyards are comprised of well-drained volcanic rock. Each vineyard block was carefully planned to fit the contours of the land and maximize ideal sun exposure. Varietals, rootstocks, clones, vine spacing and row direction were matched to the soil composition and exposures. Because of the jagged characteristics of these mountain slopes, most of the vineyards blocks are small, averaging less than 3 acres each. Over the ridge from Terre Vermeille, is a steep south facing slope dropping precipitously down toward Clear Lake (on a 38-40 degree pitch). These rocky vertical slopes are reminiscent of the Rhone Valley’s famed Crozes-Hermitage vineyards. Fittingly, they have planted Rhone varietals, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache and will continue to experiment with Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier.



The Shannon Ranch and Shannon Vineyard are Certified Sustainable Farms.  What does that mean exactly?  Clay Shannon tells you a bit more in the is short video segment:

We are thrilled to offer you this incredible and well-priced selection of Napa Valley, Lake County wines:

2011 Shannon Ridge  Wrangler Red

2010 Shannon Ridge  Petite Sirah

2010 Shannon Ridge  Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Shannon Ridge  Sauvignon Blanc

2012 Shannon Ridge  Chardonnay


Which wine will you try first?