Published on 31-01-2024
Explore Lake County
A Real Wow! Factor


Explore Lake County

About an hour and a half north of Napa, straight up the Silverado Trail (CA 29), you’ll discover a relaxed rural area, laid back, lush with flora, fauna, lakes, rivers, and of course, wineries and vineyards. Welcome to Lake County, “with California’s cleanest air, America’s oldest lake, and the friendliest folk on God’s green earth, life in Lake County tends to freshen your perspective. People are a part of nature, not apart from it. And being a bit weird is worn as a badge of honor. Come to Lake County and see what makes us clearly different.”

Explore Lake County

Clearlake, after which the area is named, is America’s largest natural lake, dating back about 2-1/2 million years. Mount Konocti (a dormant volcano) rises majestically over the landscape. Lava domes, cinder cones, and the world’s largest geothermal field define the area and the terroir. The grapes, and therefore the wine, are uniquely influenced by geology. There are over thirty vineyards to explore, with wines to savor. Sip distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc in addition to numerous other varietals. The area is so well regarded for grape growing that several prominent names, such as the Jackson Family, Foley Family, Beckstoffer, and Constellation Brands own vineyards in Lake County.  
Lake County is also a haven for mountain bikers, hikers, fishermen, water enthusiasts, RV devotees, and nature lovers. Lake County is a slice of heaven off the beaten path.


Wine - Dine - Stay - Play in Picturesque Lake County!

Thorn Hill Vineyards

Thorn Hill Vineyards is the perfect place to stay while exploring Lake County. The elegant Tuscan-style villa is in the middle of the vineyards. On one side of the Thorn Hill Tasting Room, there are two beautifully appointed private suites. Unwind in the shared living, dining, and kitchen space (well stocked with snacks and breakfast items). This is the perfect getaway accommodation for two couples to share. On the opposite side of the Villa, is a private single suite. Sleep in, enjoy the country quiet, make yourself a fresh breakfast, then walk about 20 steps for your relaxed tasting in the adjacent room, before you go out to explore more of Lake County. Savor Amy Thorn’s award-winning, small-lot, boutique wines, both whites and reds. And don’t go home without a few bottles of Thorn Hill’s sparkling wine, and their elegant dessert wines.


Boatique Wines and Vineyard Cottages

Boatique Wines and Vineyard Cottages, founded in 2015, boasts one of Lake County’s most spectacular views. The founders, Robert and Madi Mount, had a zest for life with a passion for antique wooden boats and world-class wine which brought them to Lake Country’s Red Hills AVA. Visit for the “boutique experience,” sampling award-winning wines, including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc plus other varietals. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Boatique Winery enhances the overall experience, providing insights into the winemaking process and guiding guests through tastings with warmth and enthusiasm. For the ultimate experience, stay in the vineyards, and book one of Boutique’s comfortable accommodations.


Six Sigma Ranch

Six Sigma Ranch, simply put, is a one-stop shop for your wine, lodging, and outdoor adventure fun. This 4,000-acre ranch was purchased by Kaj Ahlmann in 2000, with a handshake. Wines are from estate-grown grapes, (including Tempranillo, planted more than 20 years ago), and are small lot, elegant, and available mainly through the winery. Kaj and his son Christian, have one goal in mind: For everyone who visits, to have a great experience and come back again and again.
Stay under the stars in one of Six Sigma’s 63 Huttopia glamping units, upscale and completely off-grid. Glamping sites are availble beginning in April; reservations can be made now for the glorious springtime. Or, bring your RV to camp out if you prefer.
Hike and Bike, on more than 14 miles of trails. Take a Pinzgauer Vineyard tour, savor a ranch-to-table private lunch or dinner, and enjoy many of the special, regularly scheduled events, such as:
• Daily wine tasting on the site of what was once a stagecoach stop (most wines aged two years in barrel and two years in bottle prior to release).
• Guided hikes and bike rides
• Pick-up and new-release parties throughout the year (one of the benefits of club membership)  
• Paella Night: First Wednesday of every month – bring the family and family dog to this family-friendly property!
Enjoy, kick back, and exhale in the comfortable, friendly environment of Six Sigma Ranch. You will see stars like you never have before as you decompress, make new friends, and plan your return visit.


Langtry Farms

Langtry Farms, Vineyard and Winery has a romantic, storied history. Lillie Langtry, (b. 1853 on the Isle of Jersey) was a famous British actress and socialite, performing both in England and the United States. In 1888, seeing an ad in a local publication, Lilly purchased a 4,200-acre ranch, founding Langtry Winery, which she owned for 18 years.
The modern-day operation began with the initial 1982 vintage, they have been producing award-winning wines ever since. Whereas mostly Bordeaux varieties are grown, Langtry also grows, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc (named Langtry Lillie), and Chardonnay.

The drive up to Langtry is breathtaking, as you wend your way through vineyards, hills, and moss-covered trees. Once you arrive at Langtry you will be treated to an amazing view, overlooking one of Lake County’s 1000 lakes.
The tasting room reflects the wines. Crisp, clean, pure, inviting. Bring a picnic lunch, and after your wine tasting, sit outside at one of the tables, as you sip a Langtry Cabernet Sauvignon (aged 30 months in barrel and 1 year in bottle before release), and marvel at the view.

Click here for a list of Lake County wineres

Click here for a map of Lake County wineries


Saw Shop

Let’s Eat!

I’m ready to make a return to Lake County for the food! One night isn’t enough, as Lake County has an abundance of places to eat. Down home, local, regional, ethnic, pubs, casual, friendly, and creative. But when in Kelseyville, you have to eat at Saw Shop Public House! Their motto is “Welcome to our house—everyone is local, and locals are family.” Unpretentious, on Kelseyville’s (only) main street, the food here will blow you away. It’s good, fun, tasty and friendly. Sit back and enjoy your meal. Savor house-made, farm-fresh creative dishes. This is down-home gourmet comfort food. Included in the menu are gluten-free and vegan items. Start your meal with a Mason Jar Cocktail (like the Church Girl), while exploring the menu. There is an ample selection, however, you won’t go wrong with the mouth-watering, flavorful, tasty, make your salivary glands work overtime Maple Whiskey Glazed Port Chops, with cheesy grits and fresh farm-to-table veggies. And dessert … I’ll leave that one to you!
We need to get back to Lake County and explore more of the local restaurants, flavors, and hospitality.


After All is Said and Done

Following wine tasting, a relaxing night in a B&B in the vineyards, after savoring down-home cooking, and partaking in many of the activities that abound, when you look back on your Lake County visit you will come away knowing what made this trip exceptional: The People! Hospitable, family-friendly, authentic, accepting, and just special. Once you return to “the world” outside you may pinch yourself and wonder: “Was it a dream?” And, then you’ll think to yourself: “I’ll be back;” I know I will.

Discovering Lake County is “like a box of chocolates … you never know what you’re going to get.” (Forrest Gump) … so here are more suggestions to consider:


The Shannon Mercantile

The Shannon Mercantile They have it all! A local gathering place to sample estate wines and purchase locally raised grass-fed lamb from their ranch (all cuts of meat, ready to cook and serve). Enjoy ongoing events! Taco Tuesday, Friday Night Pizza, Saturday Farmer’s Market, Sunday Funday with games and food! The Shannon Family of Wines and Vineyards are stewards of the land … practicing organic and regenerative farming and agriculture; certified sustainable in 2017, vineyard certified organic in 2022 … preserving the land for future generations. “Eat Lamb, Drink Wine, Wear Wool.”


Konocti Harbor Resort

Konocti Harbor Resort – Reopens May 2024
Step into a world of indulgence, where indoor and outdoor pools, three exquisite  restaurants, a captivating
indoor theater, tennis and pickleball courts, a lavish 19,000-square-foot spa, and an array of amenities await.

read more


Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Saloon

Blue Wing Saloon and Tallman Hotel, located just off the lake in the small western town of Upper Lake, this 1890s-era stagecoach stop, Tallman Hotel is fully restored and expanded with a timeless interior design and amenities including Japanese soaking tubs on private back decks. There is a full-service bar and restaurant, the Blue Wing Saloon, with outdoor garden seating under the shade of the sycamore trees. Relax and unwind after a day of Lake County adventure.


Featherbed Railroad Bed and Breakfast Resort

Featherbed Railroad Bed and Breakfast Resort
An experience like no other. Enjoy staying in your own, private, them-focused luxurious Caboose Train Car! In the morning indulge in a gourmet farm-to-table breakfast! Currently celebrating 30 years of making memories.


On The Waterfront Restaurant  and Sol Rouge Wine Tasting Room

On The Waterfront Restaurant and Sol Rouge Wine Tasting Room
A a modern eatery with a globally inspired, progressive menu of original dishes meant to be shared. From small plates to medium and large plates, we offer a fresh and ever-changing seasonal menu designed to tantalize your senses with a fusion of flavors, complemented by wine, to deliver an unforgettable experience.

Bed and Barrel at Stonehouse Cellars
Taste award-winning wines, then kick back while staying at this welcoming winery/B&B.
Inviting, relaxing, and friendly. This is an area for the whole family to explore, experience, stay, play, and come together. The people of Lake County are ready to welcome you.


But Wait … There’s More

Get outdoors! Lake County outdoor activities include watercraft rentals, fishing (go bass fishing with one of many guides), mountain biking, golfing, swimming, hiking, exploring historical venues, and just  lovin’ nature. Check out www.lakecounty.com for all the activities that are available in this truly off-the-beaten-track hidden gem.


New Lake County AVAs

Lake County Winegrowers Celebrate Two New AVAs

Lake County continues to raise the bar of quality wine production in California and welcomes two recently approved AVAs, the Long Valley-Lake County AVA, and the Upper Lake Valley AVA.

The approval of the two new AVAs is one of many recent achievements for the Lake County region. This high-elevation, mountainous region of the prestigious North Coast AVA is gaining traction as the market looks for high-end, California wines at an accessible price point. With its volcanic terroir, the region is being recognized for its capacity to produce quality winegrapes that result in wines that are complex and distinct. The wines offer great aromatic and flavor intensity alongside noticeable aging potential. The region has become a go-to source for high-end Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stretching across 7,674 acres and is known for producing red winegrapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, and Syrah. The first record of vineyards in Long Valley was a family vineyard planted on land near the southern end of the Valley by John Bonham in 1883. This was followed in 1885 when N.E. Hanson planted a vineyard on his ranch with 2,000 vines called “The Crags.” Modern viticulture in the area started with the planting of a block of vines by David James, using cuttings from the Fay vineyard that won the 1976 “Judgment of Paris.” James and his wife moved to Lake County in 1978 and purchased Pomo Ranch, located on the western shelf along the southern end of Long Valley. The vines were planted on their own rootstock and are still in production. Today, this property is the location of Stonehouse Cellars, a licensed Lake County wine producer.
Upper Lake Valley AVA is approximately 20,187 acres and is suitable for growing a variety of grapes, including Sauvignon Blanc.


Inviting, relaxing, and friendly. This is an area for the whole family to explore, experience, stay, play, and come together. The people of Lake County are ready to welcome you.

Click here for a list of Lake County wineres

Click here for a map of Lake County wineries

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