April 2021 Newsletter

Barley cover crop in a Lake County vineyard, photo by Nathan DeHart


A Note from Commission President

The colors of spring have begun to emerge in swaths of orange poppies, bursts of pink redbud, and meadows of bright green grass, providing a sense of renewal and rebirth.

And as 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Lake County Winegrape Commission, we are excited to announce that Lake County winegrape growers have again voted to continue the Commission and its work for another five years in the most recent referendum.

We are honored to share with you the quality of winegrapes from our region and look forward to a productive and prosperous growing season!

Cheers,
Debra Sommerfield

 


In this Issue…

USDA Survey: Wildfire Impact on California Winegrape Production
On-Demand Webinar: Certified Organic vs. Certified Sustainable
Grower Profile: Myron Holdenried
Lake County Wines in the News
Grape & Wine Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report


USDA Survey: Wildfire Impact on California Winegrape Production: Responses Due by April 16

Winegrape growers, vineyard management companies, and commercial wineries are invited to participate in a survey being conducted to gain a better understanding of wildfire impacts to California’s winegrape production.

The purpose of this project is to help the wine industry adapt to the impacts of wildfires and to better inform the allocation of resources to assist the industry. This project is being conducted as a collaboration of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service, the USDA California Climate Hub, and the Farm Foundation’s Young Agri-Food Leaders Network program.

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and is available through April 16, 2021.

Results will be published as a peer-reviewed paper and shared with decision makers and other stakeholders, including the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and industry organizations.

Questions?

Survey contact: Devon Johnson, desjohnson@ucdavis.edu
Project contact: Emily Zakowski, emily.zakowski@cdfa.ca.gov


On-Demand Webinar: Certified Organic vs. Certified Sustainable

On February 11, LCWC hosted a webinar on the key differences between two certification processes: Certified Organic and Certified Sustainable. The webinar is available for viewing on-demand.

On-Demand Webinar: Organic vs. Sustainable

The webinar was presented by Emily Farrant, California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing auditor and cofounder of Two Leaves, LLC; Tony Britton, Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery; and Ariel Russell, Auditor for Certified Organic and Certified Sustainable Winegrowing.

Additional resources:


Grower Spotlight: Myron Holdenried

Historic Roots Grow a Winegrape Resurgence

Myron Holdenried, photo by Nathan DeHartMyron Holdenried’s roots in Lake County stretch as far and deep as those of the California black oak that populate his home ranch.

Great sweeps of history were shaping America when Myron’s ancestors came to Lake County from Kentucky in the 1850s. Some five generations later, Myron remains in Lake County, tilling the soil in the county where his family settled near Kelseyville.

After graduating from the University of California at Davis, Myron, at the urging of others, decided to try his hand at winegrapes. Lake County had a prior history of winegrape growing beginning in the 1870s. Vines had been grown in the volcanic soil that resulted in award-winning wines by the 1900s. Prohibition and Phylloxera eliminated the Lake County winegrape industry until a few pioneers – Myron among them – revived it.

At the time, the Holdenried farm raised cattle and grew pears. “The cattle business wasn’t terrific,” he says. So in 1966, Myron planted 30 acres of grapes, Zinfandel at first. He and other farmers of the time had an influencer and a market: John Parducci, the legendary winemaker whose family founded Parducci Wine Cellars.

“John Parducci in Ukiah was very interested in Lake County grape growing, and so he was probably the main person that influenced us,” Myron says. “And there were other growers in Mendocino and Napa that were helpful.”

“There was quite a bit of concern about Phylloxera at the time,” he remembers. Nonetheless, he pressed on, learning the new business on the job. Two years after planting Zinfandel, Myron turned to Cabernet Sauvignon. Then came others: Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Chardonnay. His early grape business was good.

The learning continued. “The University of California Extension service was a great source of information to get the correct varieties and rootstocks adapted to the proper soils,” Holdenried said. “There’s been a big change so now Cabernet is primarily grown in the hillsides and Sauvignon Blanc is planted in the valley.”

Vineyard Business Leads to New Winery

“I didn’t feel that Lake County grapes were getting enough recognition,” Myron says. So, as he had done in response to the sluggish cattle business, Myron acted. He and his wife, Marilyn, teamed with friends in 1991 to launch a winery, Wildhurst Vineyards.

Wildhurst Vineyards Draws Attention to Lake County

In competitions across the state, Wildhurst wines consistently received high scores, drawing well-deserved attention to the county. “We would enter about 10-12 competitions a year and our wines all placed well. Some earned Best of Variety awards and others earned Best of Show. We were able to compete with the other appellations.”

The Holdenrieds and their partners sold Wildhurst Winery in 2017 to Wineco, Inc., owned by Michael Hat. Michael is a local grower who continues to produce wine at the original location on Benson Lane in Kelseyville.

The Holdenried family heritage, rooted in agriculture, continues to grow. Myron’s son and daughter-in-law, Brent and Debbi, own a grape harvesting company, Holdenried Harvesting, which they’ve operated for more than 15 years.

Now Myron’s grandson, Carson Holdenried, is entering the business and Myron believes the future is bright for his family and the region. But he advises future generations to be cautious and flexible.“Grapes are an easy business to get into and it’s an industry that has a bit of romance to it, but you cannot be faint of heart. You have to be modern. You have to be ready for change.”

Photo credit: Nathan DeHart


Lake County Wine in the News Banner, microphone and six glasses of white wine set up for technical tasting

Lake County Wines in the News

Lake County Wines received numerous awards at the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Congratulations to these outstanding wineries!

Rosé Sweepstakes Winner

  • Dancing Crow Vineyards 2020 Rosé

Best of Class Winners

  • Boatique Winery 2018 Malbec (Red Hills)
  • Draxton 2020 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Wild Diamond Vineyards 2017 Merlot

Double Gold Medal Winners

  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2019 Chardonnay
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2019 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2019 Reserve Chardonnay
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2017 Petite Sirah
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Fifth Note Cellars 2018 Red Blend (Mendocino, Lake, Napa)
  • Lost Hog 2019 Zinfandel
  • R Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Franc
  • R Vineyards 2018 Reba Red
  • Wild Diamond Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Franc

Gold Medal Winners

  • Auburn James Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills)
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2017 Syrah
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carruth Cellars 2019 Sauvignon Blanc (Clear Lake)
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Franc (Red Hills)
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2017 Petit Verdot (Red Hills)
  • Merisi Wines 2018 Petite Sirah
  • Sunce Winery & Vineyard 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills)
  • Sunce Winery & Vineyard 2018 Barbera
  • Wild Diamond Vineyards 2018 Merlot

 


 

Congratulations also to these Lake County wines, which Wine Enthusiast recently reviewed:

  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 93 Points, Cellar Selection
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2016 Petite Sirah (Red Hills), 90 Points
  • Lang & Reed 2010 Franc de Pied Cabernet Franc (Lake County), 93 Points, Cellar Selection
  • Pestoni Family 2017 Mountain Vineyard Petite Sirah (Lake County), 94 Points, Cellar Selection
  • Shannon Ridge 2019 Clay Shannon Betsy Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (High Valley): 91 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2016 Cabernet Franc (Red Hills): 94 Points, Cellar Selection
  • Sol Rouge 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 92 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2016 Gypsy Rouge Red (Lake County): 93 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2017 Cinsault (Red Hills): 90 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2017 Counoise (Red Hills): 92 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2017 Mourvèdre (Red Hills): 93 Points, Editors’ Choice
  • Sol Rouge 2017 Petite Sirah (Lake County): 94 Points, Cellar Selection
  • Sol Rouge 2017 The Keep Red (Red Hills): 92 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2018 Viognier (Lake County): 94 Points, Editors’ Choice
  • Tamber Bey 2019 Fore Family Vineyard Rosé (Red Hills): 90 Points
  • Vie Winery 2016 L’imaginaire Grenache (Lake County): 94 Points, Editors’ Choice

 


Affiliate Sponsor

Vineyard Industry Products ad for JR Clip


 

LCWC Grape Marketplace

Grape & Wine Marketplace

For an up-to-date list of Lake County grapes and bulk wine for sale, visit the Marketplace page of the LCWC website.

Grapes for Sale

2021 Barbera: 26 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA, Las Lomas Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Cabernet Franc: 10 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA. Contact Jeanne Kluge at 707-685-5323 or adobecreekvines@gmail.com

2021 Cabernet Franc: 30 tons. Red Hills AVA, Robertsbridge Vineyards. Contact Craig Shannon at 707-349-7892 or deerhntr1963@hotmail.com

2021 Cabernet Franc: 7 tons. La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: 20 tons. Red Hills AVA, Perry Ranch Vineyard, Certified Sustainable. Contact Mike Ryan at 707-900-1586 or moryan45@gmail.com

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: 13 tons. La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: 130 tons. Big Valley AVA. Contact Jeanne Kluge at 707-685-5323 or adobecreekvines@gmail.com

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: 80 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA, Desafinado Vineyards (formerly Sweetwater Vineyards). Contact Deborah Cullen at 707-239-9135 or matadora420@yahoo.com

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: 60 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA. Contact Jeanne Kluge at 707-685-5323 or adobecreekvines@gmail.com

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: 180-200 tons. Red Hills AVA, Robertsbridge Vineyards. Contact Craig Shannon at 707-349-7892 or deerhntr1963@hotmail.com

2021 Chardonnay: 35-40 tons. Big Valley AVA, Pollywog Vineyard, farmed sustainably by Chevalier Vineyard Management. Contact Gayle Christopher at 626-722-7888 or gaylepetitrouge@sbcglobal.net

2021 Chardonnay: 200 tons. Big Valley AVA, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Tim Roos at 209-499-6722 or tjroos@hotmail.com

2021 Chardonnay: 22 tons. Kelsey Bench. Contact Jeanne Kluge at 707-685-5323 or adobecreekvines@gmail.com

2021 Merlot: 20 tons. La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Montepulciano: 5 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA. Contact Jeanne Kluge at 707-685-5323 or adobecreekvines@gmail.com

2021 Muscat: 22 tons. Loasa Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Petite Sirah: 13 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA, Las Lomas Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Pinot Noir: 10 tons. Loasa Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Pinot Noir: 30 tons. Big Valley AVA, Lyon Ranch, Clone 32. Contact Jaime Rosas at 707-262-2899

2021 Riesling: 10 tons. Big Valley AVA, Certified Sustainable. Contact Rhonda Wallace at wildwestwinery@att.net

2021 Sangiovese: 20 tons. Kelsey Bench AVA. Contact Jeanne Kluge at 707-685-5323 or adobecreekvines@gmail.com

2021 Syrah: 2 tons. La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Viognier: 3 tons. La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com

2021 Zinfandel: 8 tons. La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn at 707-349-2184 or nelliedorn@mac.com


Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“A relatively mild start to April will give way to relatively a cool month for most of the west. A few systems may bring precipitation to the PNW, but doubtful for much of anything south into California and the southwest. Continuing from last month, for April the east is forecast to be warm while the west is likely cool…”

Download the April weather report (PDF) from Dr. Gregory Jones.

Calendar of Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting @ Video Conference (see Agenda)
May 5 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Community Industry Relations Committee Meeting, May 5, 2021
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Water Stewardship in Drought Conditions 2:00 pm
Water Stewardship in Drought Conditions
May 13 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Webinar presented by Lake County Winegrape Commission and Lake County Farm Bureau Thursday, May  13 at 2:00 PM Topics and speakers include Vine and Tree Response to Drought – Broc Zoller, PhD,  Zoller Vineyards Tips[...]
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LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ Video Conference (see Agenda)
May 18 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, May 18, 2021
LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Board Meeting @ Video Conference (see Agenda)
May 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, May 18, 2021
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LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting @ Video Conference (see Agenda)
May 26 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Community Industry Relations Committee Meeting, May 26, 2021
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