Randy Krag, Beckstoffer Vineyards
Research/Education Chair for the Lake County Winegrape Commission
By Susan Stout • Contributing Writer
Celebrating the graduation of 10 students from the first Master Vigneron Academy last week, Randy Krag is placing the program at the top of his list of goals. “I want to raise the bar on it for the next go around,” says Randy.
As the Research and Education chair for the Winegrape Commission, Randy brings expertise to the post from a research background in plant pathology and entomology, from practical business experience in vineyard management.
“My family has some old roots in Mendocino County (1854-1882), but they all left for the sunny south where the family remained until I came along.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in soil science in 1986 (Cal Poly Pomona) and his master’s degree in plant protection and pest management in 1991 (UC Davis). He has worked for the University of Idaho at Moscow, E&J Gallo in Merced County, the USDA Agricultural Research Service on campus at UC Davis, and Welch Vineyard Management in Lake and Mendocino counties.
As a board member since 2008, Randy has helped the Commission present a number of workshops aimed at benefiting the Lake County grape growers. They have included seminars on sustainability, irrigation, and many other aspects of vineyard management.
Employed by Beckstoffer Vineyards, Randy’s chief responsibility is viticulturist, which includes pest management, irrigation, and vine mineral nutrition. He recently completed his ninth harvest with Beckstoffer.
Randy and his wife Erica “found a piece of paradise on the north side of Clear Lake” when the Mendocino County vineyard management company he was working for expanded into Lake County. They have farmed 25 acres of walnuts since 1998, and in 2000 they adopted their children, Jesse and Chelo.
A list of the Commission’s Board and contact information is available on the website, www.lakecountywinegrape.org. The website is also an excellent source of information about the many events and programs presented by the Commission.