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Clay Shannon



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Tucked away at the lowest and coolest point of Red Hills Appellation vineyard grow a few clones of Chardonnay. We leave the coldest spot, most prone to frost for the most luscious Chardonnay we grow

Variety: Chardonnay
Region: Lake County, California
Winemaker: Shannon Ridge Family of Wines
Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 14.1%

Winemaker's Notes

Aromas of white peach and Bartlett pears balance the intriguing flavors of citrus, toasted vanilla and Crème Brûlée

John's Notes

It’s by no accident that we’ve featured more than a few wines from Shannon Ridge’s portfolio over the last few months. Regardless of the variety, they’re all consistently enjoyable, and the Clay Shannon Chardonnay 2018 is no exception

Enticing notes of green and yellow apple, lemon, Anjou pear, white blossom, butterscotch, toasted bread, and a hint of peach greet the nose. The palate is equally rewarding with its rich texture, well-contemplated use of oak, and protracted finish of toasted flatbread and white pepper

Nerdy Details

Winemaker: Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, winemaker Joy Merrilees

  • Shannon Ridge is a family-owned vineyard and winery located in Lake County, California
  • In 1995, owner Clay Shannon discovered a magnificent piece of property in the hills overlooking Clear Lake in Lake County, thirty-five miles north of Napa’s famed vineyards
  • Clay’s vision was simple: “We wanted to grow the best fruit in the world,” says Clay, “but we wanted to do it in a way that made us happy living there”

Variety: Chardonnay

Region: Lake County, California


  • Bordering the northern side of Napa and the northeastern edge of Sonoma, the Lake County appellation is part of California’s North Coast wine region
  • Lake County generally has a Mediterranean-like climate of hot dry summers and cool moist winters
  • Within Lake County the strongest influences are the distance from the Pacific Ocean, the moderate rain shadow effects of the coastal mountains to the west, the landscape variations within the county, the moderating winds from Clear Lake, and elevation differences


  • Vineyard: Red Hills Appellation, Block QW, North slope. Clone 04 does particularly well in this cool climate and volcanic soil
  • Our vineyards are certified sustainably farmed thus producing the finest fruit possible. For Clay Shannon, sustainability wasn’t some philosophical concept; it is the way we live our lives
  • At Shannon Ridge, we live in harmony with mother nature. Our sustainability practices integrate a flock of roughly 1500 sheep that clean the vineyards, remove the excess canopy, and reduce the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer.  The vineyards feed the sheep, the sheep feed the vines; lamb feeds the people, people drink the wine and wear wool
  • Harvest date: 9/15/2018

Alcohol:  14.1%

pH: 3.58

Pairs Well With:  Smoked mussels, Fettucine Alfredo with chicken, soft cheeses


Wine Enthusiast (91): This richly textured and subtly spicy wine is full in feel and mouthcoating. It’s laced with flavors of nutmeg, vanilla and toasted baguette that are tempting and sophisticated.  Jim Gordon 9/1/2020

Wilfred Wong (91): The 2018 Clay Shannon Chardonnay offers excellent persistence and richness on the palate. This wine shows ripe apple and oaky notes in its aromas and flavors. It should pair famously with smoked mussels over al dente pasta. 5/12/2020

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