LOWER LAKE, Calif. – Thorn Hill Vineyards, one of California’s newest boutique wineries, opens its tasting room on Highway 29 between Lower Lake and Kelseyville on Saturday, July 21, with the fanfare of live music, and gourmet food pairings to complement its artisan wines. The Thorn family will be on hand to greet guests from 4 p.m. to 8 pm.
Visitors to the Tuscan-inspired Lake County Tasting Room can sip wine and picnic on stone terraces overlooking stunning mountain views and a landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, cypress and olive trees.
Beginning with the grand opening celebration, Thorn Hill plans to host special wine-tasting and entertainment events; see a schedule at www.ThornHillVineyards.com .
Friendly, knowledgeable tasting room hosts will suggest wines that suit individual palates. Starting July 21, the tasting room will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 707-279-2745 for more information.
Noted for their collectible wines from Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties, Thorn Hill’s Lake County vineyards are situated on 50 acres off Highway 29, north of Lower Lake.
Husband and wife owners, Jack and Amy Thorn, discovered the property after a ten-year search for the ideal terroir to grow world class grapes for their artisan wines.
Winemaker Amy Thorn crafts limited production wines sourced from premium vineyard lots by carefully selecting clones known to produce ultra-premium fruit.
“We are committed to hand harvesting and hand sorting each grape cluster prior to crushing,” said Amy Thorn, who oversees the operations as winemaker. “We follow the meticulous practices of small lot, whole cluster pressing, de-stemming, cold soaking, extended maceration, barrel-to-barrel racking and bottling without filtration.”
The results, say the Thorns, are collectable wines that reflect their distinctive terroir while embodying the hallmark characteristics of each varietal.
The couple, who reside in Lancaster, Penn.a, expanded their passion for wine to the ambitious dream of establishing their own winery after successfully operating a supply chain management think tank that serves 50 of the world’s largest corporations.
After 10 years of research and travel, they determined the Red Hills as the ideal location for their family winery.
“We were attracted to the appellation because of the three key components needed to grow award-winning wines: elevation, soil and weather,” said co-owner and proprietor Jack Thorn.
The Thorns found their vein of gold in the Red Hill’s AVA located between Mount Konocti and Mount Saint Helena.
They feel that the microclimates and gravely volcanic soil offer the ideal topography for harvesting premium Cabernet Sauvignon and other top-quality red varietals.
Their wine enthusiast friends and fans agree. Demand for their wines was so immediate and intense that the Thorns opened a tasting room in Lancaster in December, becoming the first and only California winery to have a retail store in Pennsylvania, a state known for its tightly controlled, government-regulated wine and spirits business.
Thorn Hill also has a tasting room in Napa, near Yountville, at 5225 Solano Ave. in Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll district.
The Thorns’ son, Jonathan, 24, and daughter, Rachael, 22, also are involved in the wine business. Jonathan oversees the day to day operations at their Red Hills tasting room, and Rachael recently designed the artwork for a soon-to-be-released sparkling wine.
From their three locations, the Thorns produce seven varietals, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Petit Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio and yet-to-be-released Brut de Prestige sparkling wine.
“The greatest gift you can give as a winemaker is to create a bottle of wine that is the purest expression of each varietal, a wine that is a combination of nature and nurture,” said Amy Thorn. “The greatest gift you can receive is when people drink it with appreciation.”