Red Hills Wine History
The History of Red Hills Viticulture and Wine Production
In 1974, Jess Jackson bought 80 acres in the nearby town of Lakeport. Probably no other individual has influenced the development of the Clear Lake and Red Hills wine industry more. Jackson initially sold grapes to other wineries, but made his first wine in 1982.
Kendall-Jackson currently owns about 300 acres of vines in the AVA.
Vineyards were originally planted at lower elevations closer to Clear Lake. Sauvignon Blanc did very well, but Cabernet Sauvignon was always a little unripe. Over the past decade, several hundred acres of vineyards have been planted in the sunny hills. Cab is perfectly suited to the red volcanic soil.
In 1997, Andy Beckstoffer bought about 2,000 acres of land in the AVA. That same year, George Meyer bought Louis Martini’s land and began planting more vines. He specializes in growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
Thomas Selfridge of Chalone buys grapes from Meyer for the Dynamite label. He used to work for Kendall Jackson and knows the region’s vineyards are capable of. There are currently over 3,000 acres of vines in the region.
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