Benchmark Wineries

Brassfield Estate 

One of the largest vineyard holders in Lake County, Brassfield Estate has 2,900 acres (1,174 ha) under vine. Most of that is in the High Valley AVA. Their estate tasting room is one of the most impressive in Lake County and offers spectacular views. Wines include Zinfandel, Bordeaux varieties, Rhone varieties, and more.

Hawk & Horse 

This Red Hills AVA producer makes high-end Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah from its certified-organic and -biodynamic, estate vineyard. It’s also a historic property, known prior to 1852 for having the largest valley oak tree in the state. 

Langtry Estate/Guenoc Winery 

Perhaps the most famous Lake County winery from a historic perspective, it produces world-class Petite Sirah at very attractive prices. When the Guenoc Valley AVA was approved in 1981, it was both Lake County’s first AVA and the first single-winery AVA in the country.

Prima Materia 

This specialist in Italian varieties makes excellent, authentic renditions of everything from Sangiovese to Friulano. The 12-acre (5-ha) estate vineyard is 1,450 feet (137 m) in the Kelsey Bench AVA. The tasting room is outside the county.

Six Sigma Ranch & Winery 

The 4,300 acre ranch in the Red Hills AVA includes 40 acres (16 ha) of vines which are farmed very sustainably. The property combines several of the very first ranches created in Lake County, the first in 1859. The wine focus is Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc.


This winery was founded by Jed Steele, the original winemaker for Kendall-Jackson. Steele continued to own and operate it until selling in December 2020. The wines are very well made, yet very affordable, and cover a wide range of varieties.