Napa’s Neighbor to the North Continues to Elevate Wine

Photo Credit: The Bloom

In the mountains north of Napa, an undiscovered wine country continues to garner high scores from major wine critics. Sol Rouge’s 2018 Petite Sirah was recently awarded 97 points in Wine Enthusiast, a new high score for Lake County wines and a sign of a rapidly developing wine region. Fifteen minutes north of Calistoga off Highway 29, is Lake County’s wine country. Lake County wines have obtained 94 points or higher ratings by Wine Enthusiast 46 times in recent years.

Sol Rouge co-owner and winemaker; Bryan Kane has been awarded several accolades, received a rating of 94 points or more for 14 of his Lake County wines. Kane also produces several highly rated wines in neighboring Napa County, including those of Howell Mountain Vineyards. Kane states, “When I moved from Napa Valley to start an estate winery in Lake County, I set out to make some of the highest quality wines in the world, just like I had done in Napa Valley. When our 2016 Sol Rouge Petite Sirah received a 96-point rating and was named the #25 wine in the world alongside Italy’s Antinori Tiganello and Napa Valley’s Dominus Estate, I knew Lake County had arrived as a world-class wine region. The 97-point rating on this year’s Petite Sirah shows that the wines from Lake County continue to improve.”

Much of the success of Lake County wines is due to the region’s unique terroir. Lake County’s volcanic soil and Mediterranean climate make for exceptional growing conditions. For that reason, Andy Beckstoffer, founder and chairman of Beckstoffer Vineyards and one of Napa’s premier grape growers for cult and ultra-premium wines, has been growing grapes in Lake County for over two decades. “I like to grow my grapes here because the soil is similar to that of Napa Valley,” he stated, “I chose the Red Hills Lake County AVA because the soil is so deep and uniform from the blowoff of Mt. Konocti that it makes great wines.”

With both wineries and growers seeking the unique soils and terroir to make world-class wines, Lake County continues to grow in popularity among the North Coast. Now with over 20 tasting rooms, Lake County has developed into an upcoming wine region with only 15 minutes to the north.

About the Lake County Winery Association
The Lake County Winery Association promotes the Lake County wine region as a producer of premium, high-elevation wines and a relaxing travel destination.

To learn more about Lake County wines visit

Trudy Wakefield

Trudy and Jonah David Wakefield started The Bloom in 2018 to showcase the best parts of Lake County and to provide a local outlet for community events, arts, music, and writing.

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