Clear Lake Soil and Geology

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Clear Lake wines are produced from volcanic and alluvial soils similar to those in the Napa Valley. The region’s geology is intimately linked to the eruption of several nearby volcanoes.

Volcanic ash and lava flows that are remnants of these events are known as the Clear Lake and Sonoma Volcanics. Debris from these ancient catastrophic events is one of the major reasons for the viticultural success of the entire North Coast.

Mount Konocti rises 4,200 feet above the AVA. Although geologists still classify it as an active volcano, it has not erupted for approximately 10,000 years. However, when it did, it left earth-changing results. Konocti scattered the surrounding landscape with volcanic ash and rocks. It has erupted several times between 2,250,000 and 10,000 years ago.

 Clear Lake Soil and Geology

The geology of the Clear Lake AVA is also made up of alluvial soils that are derived from the shifting lake and surrounding river beds. Most of these soils date back to the Pliocene and Pleistocene Eras. Sauvignon Blanc and red Bordeux varietals have had the most success to date in the Clear Lake AVA.