Have you been wine tasting in Lake County recently? Well here’s your chance as the 9th Annual Lake County Wine Adventure is happening July 28 and 29 all the way around beautiful Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California. Come enjoy wine, food, music, and more at over 25 wineries between 10 am and 5 pm both days. If you’ve never been here before it’s a great way to discover how well they make wines in this region of high elevations, rolling hillsides and valley floors next to a majestic (but happily dormant) volcano (Mt. Konocti).
The Lake County Wine Adventure provides guests the opportunity to visit over 25 wineries, several of which are not usually open to the public. The wineries we are eager to visit this year include Brassfield Estate Winery, Chacewater Winery, Gregory Graham Wines, Langtry Estate and Vineyards, Moore Family Winery, Rosa d’Oro Vineyards, Shannon Ridge Vineyards and Winery, Shed Horn Cellars, Sol Rouge, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Steele Wines, and Vigilance Winery and Vineyards. To see the complete list of wineries in the area and to order tickets please go here.
If you purchase your Lake County Wine Adventure ticket in advance, it’s only $35 for two days of enjoyment (but the cost will increase to $45 that weekend so just go ahead and buy your tickets now). You can purchase tickets online until Sunday, July 21, or you can buy them in person at any one of these 7 locations up to and including the weekend of the event: Six Sigma Ranch, Vigilance Winery, Laujor Estate Winery, Wildhurst Vineyards, Steele Wines, Brassfield Estate Winery, or Lake County Wine Studio. If you need to, you can actually purchase your tickets at any participating winery on July 28. If you’re not familiar with the area, then this map (which you will receive at your check-in point for the Adventure) may help you get your bearings.
The event organizers promote responsible hospitality and encourage all participants to hire or designate a driver. Designated drivers are invited to enjoy non-alcoholic drinks, food and entertainment free of charge at each site.
During the Lake County Wine Adventure you will discover quite a variety of food at the wineries to go along with your wines. Some of the offerings last year were Arancini with Smoked Gouda, Chicken Confit Crostini, Empanadas, Carnitas Tacos, Asian Noodle Salad, Chicken Satay, Tortilla Española, BBQ Lamb, Pulled Pork Sliders, and Beef Sliders, We also found fruit, nuts, cheeses, and chocolates along our travels.
One of the Lake County wine region’s appealing features is that you can find all sorts of varietals here. Over two days, in an easily covered area, you could try everything from popular varietals (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) to less commonly found ones (such as Charbono, Grenache, Muscat, Tempranillo, Sagrantino) to only-in-Lake-County offerings (Sparkling Pear Wine, proprietary blends). Wine Adventure attendees will have the chance to try wines from five distinct appellations within Lake County including the Clear Lake, Benmore Valley, Guenoc Valley, High Valley, and Red Hills AVAs.
One of our favorite wineries at last year’s Wine Adventure was Rosa d’Oro Vineyards in Kelseyville, as they create wonderful wines from Italian varietals including Aglianico, Dolcetto, Montepulciano and Sagrantino. Their 2012 food offerings were highlighted by Chicken Confit Crostini with Moroccan Spice, Apple, and Radish; Maine Shrimp Crostini with Romesco Sauce and Rouille; and Beef Flatiron Crostini with Blue Cheese, Onion, and Port. Rosa d’Oro is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to expand the kitchen in their tasting room into a more functional cooking space, and we highly recommend you visit them during the Wine Adventure and consider donating to the cause.
The Lake County Wine Adventure is hosted by the Lake County Winery Association. Founded in 2007, the Association promotes the county’s unique and distinct rural attributes, and is committed to sustainable farming and winery practices. Event-goers that visit all of the participating wineries and submit their completed passport to the LCWA before the end of the year will be entered into a raffle drawing for one of a dozen Lake County vacation packages and a special grand prize featuring a stellar collection of Lake County’s finest wines.
If you need a place to stay that weekend, please check out these LCWA Diamond Hospitality Members who may still have room availability: Clear Lake Cottages & Marina, Lakeport English Inn, The Lodge at Blue Lakes or Sea Breeze Resort.
We had a lot of fun last year, and can’t wait for this year’s event. The Lake County Wine Adventure is an excellent way to get introduced to the region if it is new to you, and an enjoyable way to revisit the area if you’ve been here before.