We had the pleasure of attending the Lake County Wine Adventure at the end of July, a fun passport-type food and wine event spread out around Clear Lake, the largest national freshwater lake in California. Keep reading and we’ll tell you about our favorite parts of the event and which wines we felt best represented Lake County’s wine making skills.
If you didn’t already know, Lake County is a great destination for a wine tasting excursion (especially if you like pretty scenery). Lake County is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the State, and features five distinct AVAs. You’ll find high elevations, rolling hillsides, and valley floors next to a majestic (but happily dormant) volcano (Mt. Konocti) overseeing Clear Lake.
Whether you use our suggestions for your trip’s framework or you just create an itinerary on your own, we’re sure you will find a trip here worthwhile.
So how was the 2013 Lake County Wine Adventure? Delightful. We always enjoy food and wine events where the participating wineries aren’t too spread out, and the event hours provide enough time to relax and enjoy yourself. At this year’s Adventure we found premium wines, delicious food, gorgeous summer weather and some destinations even had live music (such as Nashville recording artist McKenna Faith at Gregory Graham Wines).
No, we didn’t make it to all 32 of the wineries participating but we did find plenty of wines (and wineries) worth recommending if you’d like to explore Lake County wines on your own. These were our favorite wines from that weekend:
Bullion Creek Vineyards – 2007 and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignons
Chacewater Wine Co. – 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Sierra Foothills Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Red Hills Malbec, 2011 Sierra Foothills Merlot, 2010 Red Hills Petite Sirah, 2011 Sierra Foothills Cabernet Sauvignon
Fore Family Vineyards – 2008 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Gregory Graham Wines – 2009 Lake County Riesling
Langtry Estate & Vineyards – 2012 Guenoc Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
Moore Family Winery – 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Malbec, 2009 “Black Dog” Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Robledo Family Winery – 2010 Lake County Tempranillo, 2007 El Rey (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Rosa d’Oro Vineyards – 2011 Muscat, 2011 Aglianico, 2011 Cabernet Franc, 2010 Sagrantino
Six Sigma Ranch – 2012 Asbill Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Christian’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sol Rouge – 2011 Gypsy Blanc (Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier), 2011 Gypsy Rouge (Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Counoise)
Vigilance Winery – 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Cimarron (Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvignon)
Wildhurst Vineyards – 2012 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Hungry Wine Adventure attendees found a wide range of tasty food options to go with their wines. Cheese fans were in their element as multiple wineries offered several cheeses to snack on. Some of our favorite small bites this year were the Cowboy Caviar at Six Sigma Ranch and the Heirloom Tomato Crostini, Balsamic Beef Skewers, and Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce at Rosa d’Oro Vineyards. For heartier fare, we thoroughly enjoyed the Chicken Empanadas at Robledo Family Winery, the Grilled Lamb from Vigilance Winery and the Carnitas Tacos at Chacewater Wine Co. Our favorite dessert was the Popcorn Pot de Crème with Caramel Drizzle and Fleur de Sel at Gregory Graham Wines.
Founded in 2007, the Lake County Winery Association promotes the county’s unique and distinct rural attributes, and is committed to sustainable farming and winery practices. If you attended this year’s Lake County Wine Adventure, we’d love to hear how your experience went.