Red Hills Wineries
California is the state that is perhaps best known for its wine production, but it still may come as a surprise to learn just how many active regions there are there. Napa Valley is the most famous of all, but located to the North of that region is where you will find the Lake County AVA. Within that area there are 5 different American Viticultural Areas, each with their own unique landscape and flavor. One of the most unique of the 5 is Red Hills, which lies at the foot of an active volcano name Mount Konocti. Spread across 31,000 acres, the wineries in Red Hills are well worth a visit if you are in the Clear Lake part of California.
While Mount Konocti is still listed as being active, it has not erupted for over 11,000 years. That, and the other volcanoes that once dotted the region, have created a soil that is perfect for growing grapes. That soil is predominantly made up of red lava, and the climate there has been compared to the Bordeaux and Rhone Valley regions in France. While the climates of those regions are a little different, the Red Hills area has the perfect blend of both. As you may already have guessed, it is the red varietals that are most commonly served up in the Red Hills wine tasting rooms, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel among the most popular.
While the Red Hills region is spread across a massive 31,000 acres, there is only a small percentage of that area that is actually suitable for growing grapes. Some of the vineyards don’t actually operate Red Hills wineries of their own, choosing instead to ship out their grapes to surrounding regions. Fear not, though, as there are still plenty of great wineries in the area for you to visit, and a ton of incredible wines just waiting to be sampled.
Besides the tasting rooms and wineries in Red Hills, there is some amazing scenery to take in as you travel this wine trail. The rolling hills, some of which rise as high as 3,000 feet above sea level, will certainly remind you of Europe. The Red Hills region sits on the southwestern shores of Clear Lake, with the Excelsior Valley to the east and Big Valley to the west. Some of the wineries here are like hidden gems tucked away among this beautiful scenery.
The Red Hills region is beginning to receive a lot of attention, thanks in large part to the Sauvignon Blanc wines that are now coming out of there. This is still one of the quieter regions to visit for wine lovers, but there is a chance it may not stay that way if its reputation continues to grow. If you are looking to escape the crowds of Napa and still have a wonderful wine tasting experience, just head north in the direction of Clear Lake to see what the Red Hills wineries have to offer. It’s a trip we can guarantee you will be glad you took.