Summit Lake Vineyards
In 1971, Bob and Sue Brakesman bought a 21 acre estate on Howell Mountain named Carlo Farazzi Ranch. The property was originally planted with Zinfandel in 1917. In 1975, Bob and Sue added 11 acres of Zinfandel to the 8 acres of original old vines that were still alive.
The winery’s first commercial vintage was a 1978 Zinfandel. Along with his winemaking duties at Summit Lake, Bob was also working as a foreman in the cellar at Freemark Abbey during the 1970s. In 1985, he built new production facilities on his estate.
The property is currently planted with 13 acres of Zinfandel, and 2 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard sits at an elevation of 2,300 feet. The grapes are above the morning fog and also catch afternoon sun. Sterling Lake Vineyards makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Port-style wine with Zinfandel.
The winery only produced 400 cases of the 2001 Emily Kestrel Cabernet Sauvignon. 1,447 cases were made of the 2001 Summit Lake Zinfandel. Both of these wines are an excellent value. Check out their 2001 Clair Riley Pirates Reserve Zinfandel Port as well.