December 2016 Newsletter

Vineyard covered in snow

A Note from Commission President

As winter ushers in chilly temperatures, the season of warm gatherings with family and friends is in full swing and along with it comes the excitement of choosing from so many wonderful Lake County wines to grace the dinner table or take to a party. We are grateful for the work so many are doing to elevate the food and wine experience here in Lake County – from grape growers and winemakers to caterers and chefs. With that in mind, this issue focuses on the magical pairing of food and wine and a few fun and informative educational opportunities available to you and your colleagues and friends.

Debra Sommerfield

MCU Lakeside Distinguished Speaker Series Features Master Sommelier Robert Bath

On December 1, 2016, Master Sommelier Robert Bath presented “Farm (and Vineyard) to Table in Lake County” as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series at Marymount California University, Lakeside campus located in Lucerne.

An engaging and lively speaker with a distinguished professional career in food and wine, Mr. Bath has been an ardent supporter of Lake County wines for many years. The lecture, which can be viewed online in its entirety, was sponsored by the Lake County Winegrape Commission.

New Class Removes the Mystique from Food and Wine Pairing

Christine DePasquale“Wine tasting intimidates most people,” says Christine DePasquale. “It can be overwhelming, especially considering all the regions, varietals, vintages, and so on.” To make matters worse, trying to match a bottle of wine with a dish you’re cooking or ordering at a restaurant can leave many diners perplexed.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Ms. DePasquale teaches a class that’s designed to take the mystique out of the process and make food and wine pairing fun again.

The class is appropriate for anyone in food and wine, including tasting room personnel, restaurant staff, winegrape growers–basically, anyone who sells wine in one form or another. “The class is a great way to educate staff,” said Ms. DePasquale.

The class, titled “CAM-71 Food and Wine Pairing,” is part of the Mendocino College curriculum and is taught at the college’s three campuses:

  • Mondays 6:00 – 7:50 pm, Lakeport
  • Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:50 pm, Ukiah
  • Thursdays 5:30 – 7:20 pm, Fort Bragg

Classes begin the last week of January 2017 and run through mid-May. To register, visit The cost for this one-unit class is $46.

For more information, contact Ms. DePasquale directly:

Viticulture Practices Taught at Mendocino College

“Viticulture Practices: Winegrowing for Mendocino and Lake Counties” will be offered again as part of the viticulture certificate program at Mendocino College. The class covers sustainable winegrowing principles and practices, including:

  • Pruning
  • Training
  • Frost protection
  • Canopy management
  • Grapevine water requirements and irrigation management
  • Vine nutrition
  • Soils
  • Cover crops
  • Integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Vineyard development
  • Habitat conservation and enhancement
  • Vine balance metrics
  • Key practices affecting winegrape quality

The class is taught by Paul Zellman, BS Viticulture UC Davis and MS Soil Science UC Riverside. Mr. Zellman is LCWC’s Education Programs Director and brings over 25 years of vineyard and winery experience to the classroom and lab.

“AGR-112 Viticulture Practices” takes place on Thursdays from 1:30 pm to 5:20 pm at the Mendocino College main campus in Ukiah, beginning January 26, 2017. For more information, contact Jim Xerogeanes at (707) 468-3218, or Paul Zellman at (707) 621-2668,

Spanish for the Wine Industry

Looking to improve your Spanish? Check out the website, Spanish for the Wine Industry. Developed by Josefina Adriance, the program is intended to teach effective communications with Spanish-speaking workers in the vineyard and winery.

Spanish for Wine logo

Save the Date: Momentum 2017

Mark your calendar for the next Momentum symposium:

Thursday, March 23, 2017
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Soper-Reese Theater
275 S. Main St., Lakeport

Volcanic Wines by John Szabo book coverKeynote Speaker Announced: This year’s keynote speaker is Master Sommelier John Szabo, who has just published his third book, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power. The book takes a novel approach to the world of wine, using volcanic soil as the overarching theme and link between a wide range of grapes and wine regions–from Alsace and Italy to Chile and Northern California. Mr. Szabo will have plenty to share about the volcanic wines of Lake County. Learn more

Allied Grape Growers Helps Lake County Wine Growers Get a Fair Deal

Small and medium-sized winegrape growers in Lake County can face a number of challenges when selling fruit. In addition to finding buyers and getting accurate market information, they must negotiate prices, execute contracts, and collect payment. Few growers have the staff resources for these important tasks.

The nearly 600 grower-members who are a part of Allied Grape Growers know they can focus on the harvest and trust Allied to handle the sales and marketing. Allied Grape Growers is a grower-owned marketing cooperative that markets its members’ grapes and administers the sales and collection process. The cooperative serves growers from the Central Valley all the way up to the North Coast, selling a wide array of grapes statewide from vineyards of varying sizes, at all price points… Read more

Allied Grape Growers sign in vineyard

Unified Symposium, January 24 – 26

Debra Sommerfield pouring wine at Unified SymposiumOnce again, LCWC will be pouring Lake County wines and introducing them to attendees of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento.

For more information, contact Debra at (707) 279-2633.


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    Jun 26 @ 7:30 am – 11:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
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