About Langtry Estate & Vineyards

By Lisa Rowlands

Covering more than nine-thousand hectares of idyllic rolling countryside, centred on the picturesque Guenoc Valley AVA but extending across much of Lake County and even across the Napa boundary, the Langtry Estate benefits from the unique topography, geology and climate combination of the region’s southern tip, as well as its much heralded clean air. Inland and sheltered from the cooling marine influence by the Mayacama Mountains, Guenoc Valley vineyards rely on a combination of elevation and the temperature moderation of nearby Clear Lake to ensure optimal conditions for viticulture.

The estate itself is a visual spectacle offering up a vast and varied landscape of green hills, still lakes, mountain ridges and gentle streams, parkland studded with old oaks, immaculately kept vine rows, the Detert Reservoir with its abundant birdlife, and breathtakingly beautiful vistas. Built almost forty years ago, the winery - which overlooks the reservoir - resembles the old Guenoc lodge that still stands three kilometres to the south, and offers state of the art winemaking facilities, tastings and tours of the vineyards.

Whilst former owner Lillie Langtry still lends her name to the estate, it has come a long way since the theatre star planted her first vines here in the late 1800s. Her departure in 1906 and the effects of Prohibition meant that for much of the twentieth century, this like all Californian properties, was largely abandoned. However, in the 1960s, the Magoon family revived the estate’s fortunes, becoming amongst the first in the state to plant five major Bordeaux varieties and raising the profile of Lake County as a serious wine region.