Shannon Ridge is the star of Lake County winemaking with 37 deliciously made wines in their portfolio. Joy Merrilees is the head winemaker there, overseeing the production of the wine and working closely with the vineyard managers to select the best fruit for every vintage.
“We are family owned,” Joy said. “It’s authentic and we’re all passionate [about wine].”
The wines benefit from the vineyards’ location in the mountainous region of Lake County. Exposed to higher UV level, the grapes are typically fruitier than those grown in lower level areas. “We have to farm differently,” she explained. “There is no fog there.”
Cooler nights allow the grapes to retain nice acidity, and the sustainable practices the winery employs allows the grapes to truly exhibit the Lake County characteristics that are being recognized by wine lovers everywhere. One particular example is Shannon Ridge’s Sauvignon Blanc. Light in color and body with refreshing aromas of citrus and tropical fruit, the team at Shannon Ridge showcase the lightness and fruitiness that Sauvignon Blanc can be. “Ours is showing Lake County as a point of difference to Sonoma and Napa,” Joy said.
But the fruit that goes into their wine is not only a product of the vineyards’ location and Lake County’s climate, but of the winery’s trademarked Ovis Cycle. The farming system’s defining tool is the sheep that feed the vines and keep the rows clean. Adored by the Shannon Ridge team and a topic–and sometimes guests of honor–at festivals and parties hosted by Shannon Ridge, the sheep are key to wine production and the winery’s dedication to sustainable practices. You can learn more about the Ovis Cycle here.
For a taste of Shannon Ridge wines, shop them online here.