December 2018 Newsletter

December 2018 LCWC Grower eNews banner, vineyard workers carrying tubs of red winegrapes through vineyard

A Note from Commission President

As the year comes to a close, we want to wish you and yours a warm and joyful holiday season. Thank you to our industry partners who have provided time and resources to assist Lake County’s winegrape community over the past year. Your generosity is inspiring and appreciated.

And with a look toward the new year, we encourage all Lake County winegrape growers to consider potential candidates to the Master Vigneron Academy® for 2019. The professional development program is designed for Spanish-speaking vineyard supervisors and foremen and kicks off in January at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.

For program details and an application, visit LCWC’s MVA web page.

For specific questions about the MVA program, email LCWC’s Educational Programs Director Paul Zellman.

Debra Sommerfield

In this Issue…

Smoke Impact Sensory Analysis Tasting
LCWC Focuses Post-Fire Relief Efforts On Research
Upcoming Event: Lowering Your Farming Risk with Crop Insurance
AVA Profile: Guenoc Valley
Lake County CWA AgVenture Class 2018
LCWC Cosponsors Successful IPM Seminar
Gift Ideas for the Holidays
CAWG Statewide Update: Pest Management and Politics
UC Davis and UC ANR Offer Grapevine Production Short Course
Lake County Wines in the News
Weather and Climate Report

Smoke Impact Sensory Analysis Tasting

Sensory Analyst Tasting group analyzing and recording findings of impacted wines
A sensory tasting at the LCWC office is one part of a research project to help assess the impact of smoke on wine quality.

In late November, as part of the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s “Wildland Fire Smoke Impact on Winegrapes Research Project,” a select group of winemakers experienced with Lake County grapes assembled for a tasting of 27 micro-fermented samples taken from 14 locations across Lake County.

The tasting was led by UC Cooperative Extension’s Glenn McGourty, who also led the sampling, processing, and fermentation work, and Anita Oberholster of the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Department. Part of the qualitative portion of the research project, the tasting was conducted blind with individual’s results submitted anonymously.

The Commission initiated the research project in response to wildland fires in 2018 to compile relevant data as a means to assist winegrape growers in the understanding of the effects of smoke from wildland fires in an effort to provide actionable insights. This research project comprises regional sampling, data gathering, weather- and fire-related GIS modeling, and sensory analysis.

Project partners include Lake County Winegrape Commission, UC Davis, UC Cooperative Extension, ETS Laboratories, Australian Wine Research Institute, Western Weather Group, Lake County Air Quality Management District, and individual winegrape growers and vintners. Learn how you can assist with this research.

Press Release: Lake County Winegrape Growers Focus Post-Fire Relief Efforts On Research

With an increase in the number and duration of large wildfires, the California wine industry is working together to explore ways to combat the effect of smoke exposure and fire damage on winegrapes and wine. Industry leaders in Lake County are leveraging data gathered in the most recent wildfire as a means to find solutions that will help wineries and grape growers minimize the impact from these natural disasters. Read full press release

Save the Date: Lowering Your Farming Risk with Crop Insurance

Gather with fellow winegrape growers in Lake and Mendocino to listen to knowledgeable experts about how crop insurance can be used to help lower farming risk. Program will be announced soon.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2019
    9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
The Lodge at Blue Lakes
5135 W. Hwy 20
Upper Lake, CA 95485

Tickets (no fee) must be reserved in advance. Please contact Megan Hoberg with questions: or 707-279-2633 x303

Seminar presented by:

Allied Grape Growers logoCAWG logoLake County Farm Bureau logoLake County Winegrape Growers logoMendocino County Farm Bureau logoMendocino Winegrowers logo

AVA Profile: Guenoc Valley

Located in southern Lake County, the Guenoc Valley derives its name from Rancho Guenoc, an original land grant from the Mexican Government in 1845. Thirty years later Lillie Langtry, a British actress and socialite, purchased a 4,000-acre ranch with an existing vineyard and winery in the valley. The winery operated until Prohibition and was revived in 1981 when a new winery was built there, resembling the old Langtry barn. That same year, Guenoc Valley became an AVA, the first time an AVA designation was granted to a single-proprietor region.

Guenoc Valley is quite close to the northern border of Napa county, sitting just over the Tephra Ridge. The area is at a relatively low elevation for Lake County (only about 1,000 feet) and one of the warmer areas in the region. Read more

Video for Guenoc Valley AVA, Lake County, Calif.

Lake County CWA AgVenture Class 2018

Community leaders attended the final session of the AgVenture 2018 program on November 2, 2018. This session marked the close of the ninth year of the AgVenture program. Created by the Lake County Chapter of the California Women for Agriculture, AgVenture is an agricultural educational program designed for non-farming community leaders who aspire to understand the vital role that agriculture plays in Lake County.

In Session 1, class members learned about the pear industry from speakers Dr. Broc Zoller, Myron Holdenried, and Michelle Scully and toured the Henderson pear orchard and Scully Packing. Session 2 focused on the wine industry with morning sessions about water and the lake. Read more

LCWC Cosponsors Successful UCCE Lake and Mendocino IPM Seminar

Glenn McGourty and David Weiss present at IPM Seminar
UC Cooperative Extension Viticulture Advisor Glenn McGourty and LCWC Board Chair David Weiss welcome attendees to the annual IPM Seminar.

Over 80 growers, vineyard consultants and pest control advisors gathered at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center to get updated on a broad range of pest management topics at the UCCE Lake and Mendocino IPM Seminar on Friday, November 16. The conference was held in Rod Shippey Hall with breaks and lunch provided by caterer Beth Lyon Keiffer. LCWC Board Member Broc Zoller described the meeting as “one of the best!” Read more

Gift Ideas for the Holidays

The Lake County Winegrape Commission has a selection of items available for purchase, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Quantities are limited. All prices include sales tax. To purchase in time for the holidays, stop by the Lake County Winegrape Commission during regular office hours, Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Logo’d Hat
Show your support for local farming while keeping your head warm with this authentic Lake County Winegrape Growers hat.
LCWC Logo'd Hat
Yeti tumbler with LCWC logoLogo’d YETI Brand 20 oz. Stainless Steel Tumbler
Keep your “cup of joe” at the perfect temperature with this tumbler – all with the quality you expect from YETI.
Lake County Wine Region Map
A beautiful map of Lake County’s viticultural areas, designed to recall the classic wine maps of Europe. This 20″ x 30″ poster is suitable for framing. Available flat or rolled in a shipping tube.
Elevation Map of Lake County Wine Region
Volcanic Wines by John Szabo book cover“Volcanic Wines – Salt, Grit and Power.”
By John Szabo MS. This 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 (including a section on the volcanic wines of Lake County).

CAWG Statewide Update: Pest Management & Politics

CAWG logoBy Michael Miiller, Director of Government Relations, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG)

Last month the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recommended new interim restrictions on the use of chlorpyrifos. The interim measures include:

  • Banning all aerial applications of chlorpyrifos.
  • Discontinuing its use on most crops.
  • Requiring a quarter-mile buffer zone during all allowed applications of the pesticide and for 24 hours afterwards.
  • Requiring a 150-foot setback from houses, businesses, schools and other sensitive sites at all times, regardless of whether the site is occupied at the time of application.

DPR recommends that county ag commissioners begin implementing the interim measures on January 1, 2019. Read more

UC Davis and UC ANR Offer Grapevine Production Short Course

The University of California, Davis and the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources will offer an integrated vineyard management short course February 12-15, 2019, at Napa’s Springhill Suites and the Oakville Experimental Vineyard. Designed for new and experienced growers and industry members interested in commercial grape production, the course will provide an in-depth, comprehensive study of all phases of grapevine culture and production with presentations by UC faculty, Cooperative Extension Specialists and Farm Advisors, and USDA researchers.

Visit the program website for details, pricing, and registration.

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

Lake County Wines in the News

High-Scoring Wines from Lake County

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which Wine Enthusiastrecently scored 90 points or better:

  • Bodkin 2016 Unto The Breach Sandy Bend Vineyard Muscat Canelli: 90 Points (Editors’ Choice)
  • Cinnabar Winery 2015 Red Hills Malbec: 93 Points
  • Encanto Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon Blanc: 91 Points
  • Prima Materia 2016 Kelsey Bench Barbera: 91 Points
  • Shannon Ridge 2015 Home Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 Points
  • Shannon Ridge 2016 Buck Shack Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 Points
  • Shannon Ridge 2016 High Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 Points
  • Shannon Ridge 2015 Home Ranch Reserve Malbec: 92 Points
  • Steele 2016 Shooting Star Barbera: 92 Points (Best Buy)
  • Steele 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon: 92 Points (Cellar Selection)

The Wine Enthusiast Top 100 of 2018

We want to highlight the Shannon Ridge 2016 High Elevation Collection Petite Sirah, which recently ranked #56 in Wine Enthusiast’s “best of the best” Top 100 of 2018 list.

Results from New Orleans International Wine Awards

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which recently won at the New Orleans International Wine Awards:

  • Stonehouse Cellars 2015 Estate Sticky Monkey Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Laujor Estate Winery 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc Cuvée, Lake County, Red Hills
  • Laujor Estate Winery 2016 Estate Collie’s Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County, Red Hills

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“November brought relatively mild conditions to the western US with much of the coastal areas, western valleys, and Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains seeing temperatures 0.5 – 4.8°F above normal, while the rest of the country was much cooler than average…”

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

Hey, Aspiring Photographer!

We’re always looking for great photos that showcase the beauty of Lake County and its picturesque vineyards. Are you willing to share a photo you’ve taken? If so, we may feature it in the masthead of our newsletter and give you credit. Let’s see what you’ve got! Please email Megan Hoberg.


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