Lake County SOMM Camp 2017

2017 SOMM Camp group photo with vineyard, lake, and mountains in background
Visiting Somms Impressed by Lake County

“You know it was a good trip when you are a little sad to see it end. Many thanks to the Lake County Winegrape Growers and The Somm Journal for a wonderful tour of Lake County wine country. I am not sure what I loved more, the wines or the community that creates and promotes them. This is a very special place.” — Dawn Smith @sommgirl98112

For three days in early June, 16 sommeliers from major restaurants in Chicago, Seattle, Las Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area attended Lake County SOMM Camp. This event was presented by the Lake County Winegrape Commission in collaboration with The SOMM Journal. It offered a unique opportunity to provide key influencers in the wine trade with a first-hand experience of the region’s wines, winemakers, winegrape growers, stunning landscape, and burgeoning food-and-wine scene.

Attendees toured vineyards across several Lake County subappellations, talked with grape growers and winemakers, and visited wineries. They also participated in technical tastings of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other varietals and listened to educational presentations from leaders in the Lake County wine industry, including vineyard-owner and US Congressman Mike Thompson.

“Events like SOMM Camp highlight the finest qualities of Lake County — the beautiful landscape, the great food, and of course the exceptional wines,” said Peter Molnar (Obsidian Ridge), who believes it to be a critical time for the region. “Eyes are turning to Lake County,” he said, emphasizing the growing interest in the region, the recognition that truly interesting and distinctive wines are being produced here, and the importance of building a genuine narrative to differentiate the Lake County wine industry.

Peter was one of the presenters at the event. He spoke to the visiting sommeliers about why high elevation and volcanic soils are key to understanding and appreciating Lake County wines. “During the presentation, we really focused on the technical aspects that distinguish Lake County,” he said. “Combining technical knowledge with extensive, carefully considered tastings allowed us to provide the kind of information sommeliers are eager for, and to present it at a level and depth that sommeliers expect.”

Two SOMM Camp attendees with bottles of wine

SOMM Camp guest taking photo of her glass in the vineyard

Clay Shannon points something out in the distance to SOMM Camp group

Sommeliers at cabernet sauvignon technical tasting


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