February 2017 Newsletter

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A Note from Commission President

Last February, 95 percent of California was experiencing drought. Fast forward one year and, as of last week, that has dropped to 24 percent, with much of Northern California now experiencing significant ground saturation, snowpack, mudslides, and road closures.

We are grateful for what this means for the state’s aquifers and reservoirs, yet our concerns are with local residents dealing with flooding and our neighbors to the east threatened by stressed water infrastructure in the Sacramento Valley.

Mostly normal winter temperatures have kept things relatively quiet in the vineyards with no signs to indicate an early season.

Debra Sommerfield

Table of Contents

Lake County Wines in the News
New Map of Lake County Available for Purchase
Lake County Makes Strong Showing at Unified Symposium
LCWC Board Elections – Forms Due
IPM Award for Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Project
Register for Momentum 2017
Ag Unlimited Helps North Coast Growers
Weather & Climate 

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

Lake County Wines in the News

Wine Enthusiast Reviews

Congratulations to this recently reviewed wine:

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Winners

Congratulations to these “Best in Class” medal winners from Lake County:

  • Shed Horn Cellars 2014 Zinfandel
  • Gregory Graham 2012 Syrah (Crimson Hill Vineyard)
  • Oak Cliff Cellars 2014 Mourvedre (Wild Diamond Vineyard)
  • Writer’s Block 2014 Cabernet France
  • Brassfield Winery 2013 Rhone Blend

Sunset Magazine
In the March issue of Sunset, Sara Schneider presents Lake County’s Red Hills as one of three of “California’s Best-Kept Secrets” that “overdeliver,” and she reviews these three Red Hills Cabernets:

  • Obsidian Ridge 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Robledo 2010 “El Rey” Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Steele 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Look for the article soon!

New Map of Lake County, Suitable for Framing

Elevation Map of Lake County Wine RegionWe’re excited to announce the availability of a beautiful new map of Lake County viticultural areas, designed to recall classic wine maps of Europe.

This 20″ x 30″ poster is available for purchase, is suitable for framing, and makes a lovely gift.

Order your map of Lake County AVAs today. Just $20 plus tax and shipping.



Debra Sommerfield & Megan Hoberg at Unified 2017

Megan Hoberg (right), LCWC’s new Marketing & Events Coordinator, joins LCWC President Debra Sommerfield to pour Lake County wines at Unified.

Lake County Has Strong Presence at 2017 Unified; LCWC Pours Lake County Wines; Winegrowers Share Insights; Master Vigneron Class Tours Exhibits

Unified Symposium logoLake County had a solid presence during this year’s 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.

The Lake County Winegrape Commission once again poured a selection of Lake County wines. 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, representing the region’s key varietals and viticultural areas, and answered a range of questions about the winegrowing region.
Lake County Wines at Unified Symposium 2016
Two Lake County winegrape growers also contributed to the program this year by sharing their insights in panel discussions. Clay Shannon of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines participated on the panel and poured two Lake County wines during “Exploring How Vineyard and Cellar Practices Impact Sauvignon Blanc Style” and Christian Ahlmann of Six Sigma Ranch and Winery provided marketing inspiration in “Beyond the Tasting Room: Marketing Your Wines Today.”

Additionally, as part of the curriculum for the LCWC Master Vigneron Academy, 12 students of this year’s program attended Unified to kick off the 2017 Academy sessions. The participants were able to attend a Spanish General Session Tasting and explore the exhibits on the tradeshow floor.

MVA students who attended Unified include: José Rojas (Oldham Vineyards), Gildardo A. McCullaugh (Langtry Farms, LLC), José Luis Pérez Lepiz (Bella Vista Farming), Juan Ceja Reyes (Bella Vista Farming), José Hernández (Shannon Ranches), Ricardo Hernández (Shannon Ranches), Daniel Cruz (Stonehouse Cellars), Guadalupe Duran Villalobos (Nissen Vineyard Services), Arturo Jiménez (Shannon Ranches), Anástacio Duarte Ceja (Beckstoffer – Red Hills), Gerardo Guererro (Shannon Ranches), and Omar Hernández (Beckstoffer – Red Hills).

LCWC Board Elections: Declaration of Candidacy Forms Due February 28

The Lake County Winegrape Commission is conducting its annual Board Member elections for three 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 28. Forms were mailed to eligible growers on February 9. Eligible growers are those who produced more than 25 tons of winegrapes in the 2015 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.

Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Project Recognized with IPM Innovator Award

IPM Achievement AwardOn January 26, 2017, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recognized the Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Project with an IPM Innovator Award. The Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Project was one of six groups awarded for innovative work in integrated pest management (IPM).

The organizations were recognized for their efforts to manage pests while using fewer pesticides, and their innovation, leadership, education and outreach. The projects use integrated pest management to manage pests, combining preventive and natural strategies such as releasing parasitic insects and providing habitat for natural predators.

The Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Project team included the University of California Cooperative Extension, the Lake County Winegrape Commission, the Mendocino County Farm Bureau, and winegrape growers in Lake and Mendocino counties.

Read more 

Momentum 2017 Logo



Lake County winegrape growers can attend for free: Register in advance and enter the promo code GROWER17.

Space is limited. Advance registration required.

Presented by the Lake County Winegrape Commission. 

AG Unlimited Helps North Coast Growers Keep Grapes Healthy and Pest-Free

Ag Unlimited logo
Mites, leaf hoppers, mealy bugs, and especially powdery mildew are a constant threat to the value of Lake County grapes. To fight these threats, many growers turn to agribusiness professionals and pest control advisors for advice and services.

AG Unlimited is a North Coast agri-business company that provides services and products to organic and conventional orchards and premium winegrape growers. Started in 1988, the company provides pest protection for 80 percent of the winegrape acreage in Lake County. AG Unlimited helps winegrape growers and managers monitor and treat changing plant and pest conditions through its full-service pest management and plant protection services… Read more

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

The February climate report from Dr. Gregory Jones is out. “What a difference from last year at this time. Temperatures in January and February 2016 were 2-6°F above normal across the west while January 2017 ushered in one of the coldest winter months in a while…” Download Report (pdf)


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    LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
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    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management 7:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
    Jun 26 @ 7:30 am – 11:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
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    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays 4:00 pm
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    You are invited to attend the Grower Conversation series hosted by Lake County Winegrowers. This series aims to connect growers, buyers, and industry experts to discuss the climate of today’s market. Each conversation will feature[...]
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