Lake County Winegrowers Sustainable eNews – October 2012 2nd Edition

Welcome to our next edition of the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s Sustainable Winegrowing Program eNewsletter.In this edition, we feature the graduation of our first class of Master Vignerons and more on the program, such as what some of the first year’s students had to say about their experience.…LCWC’s Master Vigneron Program – A Cornerstone of SustainabilityMaster Vigneron students at Unified SymposiumLake County, CA – As many of you know the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) is and continues to strive to be a leader of sustainability in the vineyard. It is not only a function of achieving it in our own vineyards, but also by setting an example and developing tools that will benefit others. We are creating trends and the idea is a firmly rooted part of our “brand” and core messaging. This is critical to good ecosystem stewardship, effective vineyard management and improving our bottom line.A cornerstone component of our Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) is our innovative Master Vigneron Program (MVP). As most of you know, this is a unique program that contributes a fundamental, yet often underserved, element to sustainability – the human capital portion. MVP trains and exposes vineyard workers, who have applied and demonstrated the potential to be accepted, to many aspects of the wine industry. It is not just vineyard management techniques, though that remains a significant component, it also presents opportunities to visit, experience and learn about broader aspects of the wine industry. Thus, it builds better employees who, in-turn, improve quality in the vineyard, create a better working environment and give themselves an opportunity for advancement.

LCWC’s program launched a little over a year ago. At that time, an inaugural class of nominated applicants was selected as the first MVP group. Over the course of the year, the students attended the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, visited UC Davis, took field trips to vineyards and wineries, participated in wine tasting and sensory analysis seminars and exercises, received human resource training and much more. We are pleased to announce that this group will celebrate and be recognized for their accomplishment at a graduation ceremony to be held in Lake County next month. We here at the LCWC have been honored by their dedicated participation. The event will feature LCWC representatives, Lake County officials, the students and their families.

Master Vigneron students in the field Master Vigneron students in the field

Currently, we are recruiting our second class that will begin in December. We have approximately 10 openings for the next group that will be determined through a competitive application process. We are looking for vineyard workers, primarily those in leadership roles (though identification of qualified candidates who have demonstrated an increasing ability to lead and manage are also encouraged to apply), to apply for the program. Some experience is desirable, though long-time tenure is not a specific requirement. We are looking for candidates who would benefit from the course and become more valuable employees through this unique curriculum. If you have an employee or know of someone who has demonstrated ability and shows promise for development in the industry and would like to nominate them, please contact LCWC Education Director, Paul Zellman at The deadline to apply is November 10th.

Master Vigneron Graduates Praise The Program – Ready To Mentor

Lake County, CA – Many of the inaugural students have expressed very positive feedback regarding their experience becoming an MVP. Also, several of them will now serve as mentors to the incoming class – we are pleased at their desire to continue and value their contribution greatly. Here is what some of them said about the past year:

Jaime RosasJaime Rosas of Lyon Vineyards (pictured at left) really enjoyed the visit to UC Davis and their Foundation Plant Services, especially, He was impressed by the intense screening work that goes into producing clean propagation stock. He said it will take several years to implement some of the pruning/training techniques in his vineyard, indicative of the long-term value if the MVP program.

Tacho Corona, who works for Stokes Vineyard, mentioned the visit to NovaVine winegrape vine nursery. While there, he saw that they also propagate olives and figs. One of his bosses is interested in planting either olives and/or figs and Tacho guided them online (having taken a computer class in Lakeport!) to the NovaVine website to look at the varietal offerings found there.

Jeromino Rico, Dorn Vineyards, mentioned the visit to Gallo in Geyserville and seeing sand filtration used to clean up a small reservoir’s organic matter, to then be used in drip systems. Dorn will be installing a sand filter this winter on one of their vineyards and Jeromino is now well-positioned to implement and manage the system.

All the Master Vignerons said they would like to learn more about diseases. While many of them wanted to learn more about water & nutrient management/application. This vital component will be further implemented in the next class.

Vineyards with lake and mountains in background

Sustainable Winegrowing Program

To learn more about the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s Sustainable Winegrowing Program please visit our website’s program page here.

There is more information on the program, our goals for a sustainable future in our vineyards and how Lake County is a regional leader in sustainability. Check it out and get involved!

Follow the Winegrowers on Social Media –

Farm land and lake

Get Involved…

Are you interested in participating in the program and becoming a certified sustainable vineyard? If so, the Lake County Winegrape Commission and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance are offering terrific incentives, including rebates and support resources to lessen both the cost and time it takes to be a part of it. The LCWC can provide assistance and more information. Please contact Paul Zellman, Education Director, at for more information…

Copyright © 2012 Lake County Winegrape Commission, All rights reserved.


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