With the tens of thousands of people who drive Bouquet Canyon daily, I wonder how many know that if you keep going, past Plum Canyon, past Lombardi Ranch, even past that big lake up there, you’ll be in wine country.
Wine country? Yes, wine country. It’s not just pretty up there folks, it’s actually the site of one of the first wineries in the United States.
Leona Valley is an area of remarkable bounty to wine makers, thus bringing them to this exact spot so many years ago. However, with the onset of Prohibition, the winery business in Leona Valley dried up and closed shop. After prohibition was lifted, places like Napa Valley brought wine making to the forefront of Californian Identity.
But as we all have experienced once or twice, the wheels in LA County move a little slower than most other places, and some prohibition era restrictions lingered in their law books up until the year 2000, preventing any wine from being made.
That was when Dave Reynolds had an idea. He did soil testing in Leona Valley and found that history could repeat itself due to the fact that the soil was perfectly groomed for bearing grapes. The weather, amount of sunshine, everything in Leona Valley was primed to return to the days of old.
In 2001, he planted the seeds, and in 2004, he bottled the rewards of his first harvest. Now, the wine is on sale to the public. For the first time since the early 1900’s premium wines are coming out of this valley, and the tasting public couldn’t be happier.
So far, Leona Valley Winery has made its wines available at many non profit functions where it has received massive amounts of people looking to buy the limited release wines.
Just days ago, a deal was made with All Corked Up, who will make the wine available for sale in Santa Clarita.
And this 20 mile trip up Bouquet may soon be the weekend getaway of choice for LA Area travelers. With several more wineries coming as well as bed and breakfasts and a PGA Golf Course, Leona Valley is sure to be on the mind of all wine lovers.
Upon visiting their website, I would encourage registering. This way you’ll be on all the invite lists of the many events they will be hosting in the future.