Lava Cap Winery is so named because of the higher concentration of lava in the soils there than elsewhere in the Placerville Sierra Foothills region. Millions of years ago volcanoes east of Lake Tahoe ruled the region spewing lava every which way and perhaps the tectonic plates which caused the volcanoes splintered sending lava-encrusted shards in the direction of Placerville.
The region also has a climate enviable to most California vineyard lands. Along with the diurnal shift of warm sunny days and cool breezy nights, the average temperature there is cooler than Dry Creek, Sonoma, and St. Helena and more like Oakville in Napa. Such temperatures are ideal for Bordeaux varietals.
Lava Cap vineyards include two basic soil types: Mehrten Formation at the lower elevations and Granitic Pluton at the higher elevations. The varied topography and resultant microclimates allow for twelve different grape types to grow in specific locations. The estate red grapes include Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel. The whites are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Lava Cap markets seventeen different wines, four whites, twelve reds, and a rose. They purchase Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Viognier, and Muscat Canelli locally.
Lava Cap properties were once a 26 acre pear farm in 1981 when purchased by David Jones. Incrementally over decades the property grew to the 130 acres with 74 in vines today. They produce 20,000 cases of wine annually, selling half of that out of their tasting room. Within that number lies a sizeable contingent of geologists organized to purchase from one of their own.
This Friday, June 27th, between 5 and 8pm, Taylor Moore presents wines from Lava Cap along with Small Vineyards Italians here at the store. Please join us.