High Valley
The High Valley AVA is located in eastern Lake County, about a two hour's drive north of San Francisco. The name of the AVA is appropriate, as vineyards range from 1700 feet at the valley floor up to 3000 feet. At these upper elevations, the UV light from the sun is quite intense, resulting in thicker grape skins and richer tannins. The heart of the zone is above Clear Lake, just northeast of the city of Kelseyville. This is a small AVA, with only 977 acres planted; this is red wine territory, with leading varieties that include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and several others ranging from Tempranillo to Grenache. Soils are a mix, from gravely loam to red volcanic. High Valley reds offer excellent richness on the palate and rather tannic; in general, these wines need time to settle down. (Wine/Appellations)