Thorn Hill Vineyards
Summary: Thorn Hill Vineyards has two tasting rooms with one in Lake County, California and the other in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Thorn Hill Vineyards Lake County location is in a “soft opening” having just opened their doors during the spring of 2012. Eventually a chef’s kitchen will be added. Two wings will be added to the tasting room.
The owners of Thorn Hill Vineyards, Jack and Amy Thorn, are from Pennsylvania. Amy has family that grows wine grapes in Pennsylvania. Since Jack and Amy enjoy California wines, they began searching for vineyard locations in Napa, Sonoma and Lake County. In 2006/2007 Amy decided to start making wine. The Thorns planted vineyards in the Red Hills AVA in Lake County. Fifty acres on gentle slopes are planted with grapevines ranging in elevation from 1,400 to 3,000 feet. Varieties planted include Cabernet Sauvignon. The Thorns also have vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Chardonnay grapes are grown in Napa Valley while Pinot Noir is grown in Sonoma County.
The Lake County Tasting room is located next to Highway 29. At the time of our May 2012 visit, workers were landscaping around the tasting room. The tasting counter has a marble top and rich tones of wood provide contrast to the light-colored tasting room. There is plenty of room in the tasting area for tables and chairs and for hosting events. A fireplace at the opposite end of the tasting counter adds charm to the room.
The focus of Thorn Hill Vineyards is to produce small lots of unique artisan wines. Grapes are hand harvested and sorted. All wines are unfined and unfiltered. In 2012 Thorn Hill produces about 4,500 cases. The Thorns plan to increase production.
Chardonnay 2009 Napa was a light yellow with apple and pear notes. Apple and pear notes were on the taste. The finish had soft mild tannins with pear in the forefront and apple and citrus on the fringes.
Red Rock Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Red Hills AVA Lake County was aged in oak for 24 months. Blackberries and black raspberries were on the aroma and taste. Chewy tannins and fruit were on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Napa Valley was a dark ruby. The aroma and taste offered notes of blackberries. The fruity finish had tannins and a hint of licorice. Pinot Noir 2010 had 15 percent alcohol and was aged in oak for 9 months. The aroma was fruity while the taste was smooth with fruit notes including plum and raspberry. The finish with fruit and tannins lingered. Petite Sirah 2007 was a dark opaque color. The aroma was of dark fruit while the taste was incredibly fruity. Bold tannins were on the finish.
The Thorn Hill Wine Club offers numerous benefits including: 20 percent off wine by the glass and by the bottle, invitations to new release parties and social events, and a 24 ounce titanium crystal wine glass that they value at $35. Wine Club membership fee is $50 for one year.
The tasting room in Lancaster, Pennsylvania offers private events including bridal showers, alumni gatherings, club meetings and company parties. Fridays have live music events. Watch for events at the new Lower Lake, California location.
While traveling Highway 29 in Lake County, stop by Thorn Hill Vineyards tasting room and taste hand-crafted artisan wines.
Thorn Hill Vineyards
8170 Highway 29
Lower Lake, California 95457
GPS: N38º 55.546’ W122º 43.067’
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