February 2016 Newsletter

Vineyards, grass, low clouds, mountain

A Note from Commission President

This just in…the California Agricultural Statistics Service released the annual “Preliminary Grape Crush Report” summarizing the size and value of the 2015 harvest. Preliminary data shows Lake County’s total winegrape crush at 38,433 tons, down less than 1 percent from 2014, compared with the statewide average down approximately 5 percent. Lake County bucked the statewide trend on pricing with grower returns per ton showing an average price increase of 5 percent from 2014, compared with the statewide average down approximately 10.2 percent.

While the much-needed and well-paced winter rains have been welcome, these sunny days of February are a reminder that the drought is still very much with Californians and more precipitation is needed. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Lake County is still experiencing “Severe Drought” conditions.

And be sure to mark your calendars with the new date – April 6 – for Momentum 2016. This annual must-attend industry event will feature some truly engaging guest speakers on a wide range of topics that matter. Stay tuned for registration details…


LCWC Board Election: Declaration of Candidacy Forms Due February 26

The Lake County Winegrape Commission is conducting its annual Board Member elections for four of the seven elected Board positions.

Eligible Lake County winegrape growers who are interested in serving on the LCWC Board will need to complete a Declaration of Candidacy form and submit it to the LCWC Office by February 26. Forms were mailed to eligible growers on February 1. Eligible growers are those who produced more than 25 tons of winegrapes in the 2014 marketing season.

Candidates determined to be eligible will be listed on an official ballot that will be mailed to all eligible growers in mid-March. Completed ballots are submitted to and tabulated by the auditing firm of Pehling & Pehling CPAs and certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

For more information about the Lake County Winegrape Commission and its work, please contact LCWC President Debra Sommerfield at (707) 279-2633, ext. 302.

Chris Christensen tasting wine

Chris Christensen of Bodkin Wines tastes an array of Lake County wines at a tasting panel put on by the editorial team at the “St. Helena Star”

St. Helena Star: Tasting a Diverse Group of Grape Varieties from Our Neighbors to the North

Note: The St. Helena Star recently published this article about a special tasting of Lake County wines held at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.

Dozens of wines from Napa Valley’s northern neighbor, Lake County, are on display on counters at the front of the room, showing a diverse group of grape varieties. Marsanne, muscat canelli, charbono, aglianico, malbec and more are there … Held at The Culinary Institute of America’s spacious Ecolab Theatre, the tasting was organized and hosted by David Stoneberg, editor of the St. Helena Star (who lives in Hidden Valley Lake in Lake County); Terry Dereniuk, executive director of the Lake County Winery Association; and Debra Sommerfield, president of the Lake County Winegrape Commission. The common goal was to taste and assess the current wines being produced in the region… Read More

LCWC Pours Lake County Wines at 2016 Unified Symposium

The Lake County Winegrape Commission once again poured a selection of Lake County wines at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento in January. The largest annual industry trade show in the nation, the Unified Symposium is attended by more than 14,000 wine and grape industry professionals from all over the world.

Each year, the show features a Regional Wine Tasting, during which associations from around the country pour wines from their region. LCWC presented a wide variety of the county’s wines for tasting and answered a range of questions about the Lake County winegrowing region.

Additionally, as part of the curriculum for the LCWC Master Vigneron Academy, 11 students of this year’s program attended Unified to kick off the 2016 Academy sessions. The participants were able to attend a Spanish General Session Tasting and explore the exhibits on the tradeshow floor.

This year’s MVA class includes students Jose Avalos (Langtry Farms, LLC); Jorge Calvillo (Rogers Vineyards); Jaime Chavez and Jesus Garcia (JAC Ag Services); Julio Gonzalez (Mauritson Farms); Humberto Guitierrez (Trinchero Family Estates); Jesus Jimenez and Juan Sanchez (Bella Vista Farming); Jose Luis Macias and Lupe Perez J. Guadalupe (Beckstoffer – Red Hills); and Daniel Ramierez (Shannon Ranches).

The Commission established the Master Vigneron Academy in 2012 with goals of creating an accredited training program while cultivating the winegrape industry’s professional workforce of supervisors. The participants take part in a curriculum that consists of classroom work and field trips to various vineyard operations.

#LakeCountyRising Gears Up for Charity Wine Auction

In an effort to help rebuild Lake County after the devastating Valley Fire, the wine industry community has banded together in support of #LakeCountyRising. A charity wine auction will be held on March 20, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in St. Helena at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone to support the long-term rebuilding efforts in southern Lake County. Read the press release. Buy tickets at #LakeCountyRising.org.


    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office and Video Conference
    Mar 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, March 12, 2024
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