Hike a Volcano
No one thought it was a good idea to plant a vineyard in a large obsidian flow overlooking a 300,000 year-old volcano. But on the other hand, the land surrounding Obsidian Ridge is a volcanic geologist’s playground.
Situated in the Clear Lake Volcanic Shield, Obsidian Ridge rests on top of the North Coast magma pocket, a magma flume heating one of the thinnest parts of North America’s crust and powering The Geysers Steam Field, the largest producing geothermal field in the world just over the hill south of the vineyard. In 2018, the U.S Geological Survey rated the region as the 33rd potentially most dangerous volcano field in the US. It was exploding 10,000 years ago, well after the first peoples settled the region some 15,000 years ago.
Obsidian from our site was used primarily for hatchets and knives for dressing game. Obsidian from the Clear Lake region was traded across North America as long as 5,000 years ago. In fact, the highest point in the vineyard is a surveyed Native American archeological site.
Bring your hiking shoes, an appetite, and a thirst for adventure as a professional geologist guides us through the largest flow of obsidian that you may ever witness, while teaching us about the amazing geology of this corner of California. By the end of our tour, please feel free to question our sanity.