Winery & Vineyards:
Overlooking Anderson Marsh State Historic Park in Lake County’s Red Hills appellation, Vigilance Winery
& Vineyards is firmly taking root. The 305-acre vineyard property has been managed for many years by Clay Shannon, owner of Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery. When the property came up for sale, Clay leapt at the chance to make the land his own.
The Red Hills appellation hugs the southeastern shores of Clear Lake, sitting at the foot of Mt. Konocti. More than 90 percent of its soils are volcanic and strikingly red in color. The terrain is rolling—a dramatic contrast to the steep slopes of Clay’s High Valley Vineyard, where he lives and grows grapes for Shannon Ridge.
There’s a gentle aspect of the Red Hills land that needs to be maintained and fostered through sustainable farming practices. Clay chose the name “Vigilance” for the vineyard after watching his alert sheepdogs carefully guard his flock of sheep, protecting them from harm. It’s with the same vigilance that he works as a farmer to preserve the land for future generations.
Even before ground was broken for the
tasting room, which is scheduled for completion by the 2010 harvest, the wines received recognition. In a blind taste test, Wilfred Wong, cellar master for Beverages & More, awarded 91 points to the 2007 Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon and 92 points to the 2008 Vigilance Cimarron—an intriguing blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Barbera, Mourvèdre, and Grenache.
Fortunately, wine lovers who would rather not wait for the tasting
room to open can find Vigilance wines at BevMo outlets and on the winery’s website. But a visit to the winery and its tasting room should certainly be part of one’s next visit to Lake County. To become part of the rich, rolling land where the wine is born—if even for just a moment—enhances one’s understanding of Vigilance Winery & Vineyards and what Clay is trying to achieve.
WHAT TO BUY:
- ’09 Sauvignon Blanc Fresh melon, lemongrass, grapefruit, citrus $19.99
- ’08 Cimarron Black cherry, creamy vanilla, oak, dark berry, spice $24.99
- ’07 Cabernet Sauvignon Black cherry, mocha, cocoa, currant, hint of coffee bean $24.99
13888 Point Lakeview Rd
Lower Lake, CA 95457
Tasting Room Open by Harvest 2010
Located near the southeastern shore of Clear Lake on Hwy 29. Detailed directions available on the winery’s website after the tasting room opening.