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An eruption with finesse

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An eruption with finesse

This was a relatively obscure grape-growing region in California until a resurgence of interest in this area coupled with increased vineyard plantings and the development of Lake County in the 1960s.

Almost a 2 1/2 hour drive north of San Francisco and 1 1/2 hours from Napa Valley, Lake County is centered around the largest natural lake in California and rests at a northern elevation of 1,300 to 2,600 feet. At these higher elevations the growing season is prolonged and the winters are cooler, while the rolling hills provide numerous microclimates that make it conducive for grape growing.

Jerry Brassfield was raised on a cattle ranch in the San Joaquin Valley and believed in nutritional supplements after they restored his health as a child. He founded his own company with products formulated to promote health and wellness. In 1973 he moved forward in the purchase of 1,600 acres of what was a working cattle ranch and wildlife reserve in the western portion of Lake County. The winery was built on the property in 2003 and was expanded to over 2,500 acres, with a modest 270 acres planted to vineyards. This region is known as a High Valley AVA in Lake County and is recognized for its volcanic and alluvial soils, which contribute to the characteristics of the grapes from this property.

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