“My winemaking tenure in Lake County began in 1983, when I was hired to start a small winery named Kendall-Jackson. After 33 years, I still am here making wine, the last 25 years at my own winery.
During this timeframe, I have come to know the primo vineyard sites in this mountainous county, just north of Napa. These are the vineyards I have chosen for the Lake and Vine project, which we produce at our own winery situated in the countryside of western Lake County.
The Lake and Vine Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon originates in a magnificent vineyard located only 15 minutes from our winery. It was planted by the largest grower of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa County, Andy Beckstoffer. Nearly 20 years ago, Andy realized that the best vineyard acreage in Napa was no longer available, and he began a search for a proximate vineyard site that would yield grapes comparable to Napa. He found it in the Red Hills of Lake County, now having planted over 500 acres there.
The Lake and Vine Sauvignon Blanc comes from a vineyard that I lease on a long-term basis. This vineyard was planted 40 years ago. I have been making Sauvignon Blanc from this vineyard for over three decades. One does not often encounter such an “old vine” Sauvignon Blanc vineyard, with this site consistently producing Sauvignon Blancs that define the highest quality of our region’s number one white varietal.
The Lake and Vine Red Blend we produce is typically based on mountain-grown Syrah and Zinfandel, being complemented by smaller amounts of Barbera, Petite Verdot and Petite Sirah. This varietal mix gives the wine both power and flavor.
I am proud to produce these three wines for the Lake and Vine project.”
– Jed Steele
Background photo courtesy of Philip Swinburn