Monte Lago Winery
Monte Lago Winery is located on a hill overlooking Clear Lake in the High Valley AVA. Jacqueline Dharmapalan is the owner of Monte Lago Winery. She owns 500 acres planted with 130 acres of grapes. The winery makes single vineyard wines.
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Monte Lago makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Yields are kept very low. Vines are planted on rolling hills between 2,000 and 2,400 feet above sea level. Slopes have northern and southern exposures, providing for a variety of microclimates. Careful attention is given to clonal and rootstock selection.
Bordeaux varietals are planted on north facing slopes. These include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Rhone varietals are planted on south facing slopes including Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Tempranillo are also planted in warmer parts of the vineyard. The vines are watered with a drip irrigation system.
Not all of the land is developed and much has been set aside as a wildlife preserve. These parts of the property are named Blue Oak Savannah and Grass Savannah. Clear Lake wineries are known for their environmental sensitivity and Monte Lago is no exception.
Monte Lago sells the majority of its grapes to other wineries. About 1,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Grenache Rose are made by Monte Lago each year. The Monte Lago Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in French barrels for 26 months. It has earthy flavors of cherry and vanilla.