Local Terroir

Geological Influences

Vina loam, volcanic silt from Mount Lassen and the entire Far North, is influenced by the volcanic eruptions of Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen thousands of years ago.

The Willow Creek AVA in Humboldt and Trinity counties is influenced by the Klamath Mountains and Six Rivers National Forest.

Mountains/Rivers/Other Key Influences

Mount Shasta is a part of the Cascade Range, and at 14,179 feet/4,322 meters the fifth highest mountain in California. Mount Lassen, reaching up to 10,463 feet/3,189 meters, is also an influence on the area, and equally riddled with volcanic soils.

The Manton Valley is an east-west valley bordered by the north and south forks of Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. Vines are planted at high elevations, from 2,000 to 3,500 feet/610 to 1,067 meters. The altitude helps to moderate heat and makes for a more even ripening season.

The Willow Creek AVA sees much coastal influence due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean (25 miles/40 kilometers) and the Trinity River, which forms a narrow valley in which the region sits. Rugged and mountainous, up to 4,000-feet/1,219 meters’ elevation, the valley floor is just 400 to 500 feet/122 to 152 meters above sea level. 

Soil Diversity

The soils of most of the Far North are shallow, nutrient-poor, and  volcanic in origin. Nearer to the ocean, Willow Creek soils are rocky with little clay content and ocean shale, well-draining due to loose loam and sand.


With a largely Mediterranean climate, the Far North is hot in summer, but benefits from cool breezes that whip off from Mount Lassen, allowing the vines to cool at night during the growing season. Harvest typically begins in late September and can last through December. Daytime temperatures can reach 100°F/38°C, dipping into the 70s Fahrenheit /21° Celsius at night. Technically the Manton Valley is considered a Winkler Region II and III, with an average diurnal shift of 38°F/3°C. Average rainfall is 33 inches/84 centimeters. Willow Creek can reach even cooler temperatures at night during the growing season.


As the Far North wine industry is rather small, we currently only have information on Manton Valley. We will update with more information as it becomes available.

Manton Valley


Across both Shasta and Tehama counties, 25 miles/40 km, east of Red Bluff

Name Background

Named for the town of Manton, “Man’s Town,” as,  according to local lore,  most of the early settlers were male.

Topography/Elevation/Water Sources/Geographic Features

From valley floor up to 2,000-3,500-feet/610-1,067 m elevation

Geology/Soil Composition

Volcanic ash and rock


Mediterranean with 33 inches/84 cm of annual rainfall and 38°F/3.33°C diurnal shift during growing season

Main Grape Varieties

Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Viognier