Clay Shannon, the owner of the Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, comes from a family of farmers and ranchers along the Sonoma Coast. Clay was raised on a farm in Healdsburg and began his career as a vineyard manager in St. Helena. In 1995, Clay discovered a property that he believed would be perfect for winemaking, thirty-five miles north of Napa. This vineyard in the hills above Clear Lake in Lake County is known as Home Ranch.
Home Ranch rests on lean volcanic soils, 2,100 to 2,400 feet above sea level. The vineyard is cooled by winds off Clear Lake and from the higher peaks to the north. The rugged land surrounding the vineyard is one of the defining characteristics of Shannon Ridge and informs Clay's winemaking ethos. Sustainability is the keyword for the Shannon Family of Wine. Clay's grandfather raised sheep and developed "the Ovis Cycle," a year-round model of sustainable farming. Sheep mow the weeds, remove the excess canopy, and reduce the need for chemicals while providing natural fertilizer.
This 2018 Sauvignon Blanc from Shannon Ridge is the direct product of Clay's sustainable model and the sheep's hard work. The best Sauvignon Blanc grapes at Shannon Ridge come from one particular parcel, Betsy's Vineyard Block 2A. This wine has aromas of white peach, lime rind, and fresh herbs, which balance the flavors of gooseberry, stone fruit, and wet stones. A fragrant and precise wine like this pairs well with fish, think ceviche or tacos and light vegetarian fare.