February 2024 Newsletter

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In This Issue…

LCWC Offers ‘Future of Agriculture’ Scholarship for College-Bound High School Students
Lake County at 2024 Unified Symposium
Lake County at Wharton School Wine Club
UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Spotted Lanternfly Presentation
Lake County Wines & Vines in the News
Connect with LCWC on LinkedIn
Grape & Wine Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report
Affiliate Sponsor: G3 Enterprises
Affiliate Sponsor: HotSpot Ag

LCWC ‘Future of Agriculture’ Scholarship Applications Due April 5

Future of Agriculture Scholarship graphic with apply now

The Lake County Winegrape Commission’s annual “Future of Agriculture” scholarship program is now open.

This year, the Commission plans to award two $5,000 scholarships – one to a student who will attend a four-year university and one to a student who will attend a technical college, community college, or trade school.

Each scholarship will be awarded to a deserving student enrolled full-time in an area of study that will enable the student to contribute to the winegrape segment of the agriculture industry. Awards are designed to help offset tuition and school supplies.

All applicants must be a high school senior graduating from a high school located in Lake County, California, with permanent residency in a Lake County school district for at least two years. Immediate relatives of LCWC Board Members or employees are not eligible.

Further details about eligibility and how to apply may be found in the Scholarship Application on the LCWC website.

DEADLINE: Application packets must be postmarked no later than Friday, April 5, 2024.

Please encourage Lake County high school seniors who are interested in a career supporting agriculture to apply.

Lake County at 2024 Unified Symposium

LCWC was honored to again sponsor the Spanish Session, “Wine Has Never Been Better; There is a Wine for Everyone,” on Thursday, January 25, at the 2024 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. The presentation included compelling discussions about AI in vineyards and wineries, finding a market niche for lesser-known varietals, and a guided wine tasting of emerging products and styles. The Lake County Winegrower’s logo was prominently displayed in multiple locations at the event and on electronic and print materials.

viewers at Spanish session at Unified Unified Spanish session with LCWC logo displayed on screen as sponsor

LCWC also participated in the Regional Tasting on the tradeshow floor on January 24. Debra Sommerfield and Megan Hoberg poured a selection of Lake County wines representing the region’s key varietals and viticultural areas and answered questions about the winegrowing region.

Lake County Wines at Wharton School Wine Club

Lake County wines were the focus of a volcanic wine tasting organized with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania on February 3. The tasting with the University Wine Club offered the opportunity to take a closer look at volcanic wines and the reasons behind their undisputed appeal. Wharton students were able to familiarize themselves with Lake County’s history and typicities and tasted two wines from the region, 2022 Shed Horn Sauvignon Blanc and 2019 Stonehouse Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Mimulus.

group watching presenter while sampling wines

News From UC Davis:

UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Office Hours: Information about Spotted Lanternfly

Tuesday, March 5
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Zoom Presentation

Cindy Kron, UCANR Integrated Pest Management Advisor, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, will give a short presentation about Spotted lanternfly followed by a Q&A session. Topics will include the origin and current US distribution, host plants and preferred host plants (tree-of-heaven and grapevines), identification of life stages, and how and where to report sightings.

This is a virtual event presented via Zoom. It is free to attend but registration is required.


In the News

Lake County Wine in the News Banner

Decanter’s Exclusive Andy Beckstoffer Interview: Looking to Lake County

Editor’s note: Full article is posted on Decanter. Possible paywall.

“It’s not just Napa Valley that garners Beckstoffer’s relentless attention, but also the cool-climate grape-growing region of Mendocino County and, more recently, the consistent volcanic soils of Lake County’s Red Hills AVA a mere 48km north of Calistoga.

“‘Vineyards and wine grapes don’t recognise California county boundaries,’ says Beckstoffer, ‘the Red Hills just north of Napa are well-situated to grow ultra-premium Cabernet.’ Andy goes on to note the parallels between Napa Valley in the 1970s and the Red Hills today and how recognising the potential for growing high-quality grapes in a given soil is mission-critical to realising that potential in the ground and in the bottle.

“The Red Hills AVA is tucked into the northern Mayacamas Mountains and the southwest edge of Clear Lake. Looming overhead is Mount Konocti, offering textbook Cabernet soil structure and dozens of volcanic hills radiating out with elevations ranging from 425 to 1,125 metres.

“Beckstoffer sees an incredible opportunity in Lake County’s Red Hills for growing premium Cabernet Sauvignon.

“He began intuitively investing in Red Hills vineyard land in 1996 and believes ‘the Red Hills of Lake County is the most promising up and coming region in the New World for growing premium Cabernet.’ Why? First, there is still land available to purchase and grow grapes on. Second, it boils down to climate, dirt and elevation.

“The Mediterranean climate and well-drained, volcanic soils combine with sun and wind to essentially do the job of fungicides and pesticides, which ultimately allows Beckstoffer to ‘farm with soft hands’ intervening in the vineyard as little as possible…”

Read the full article.

Wine of the Week: Cache Creek Vineyards 2020 Majestic Elk

Editor’s note: Full article is posted on The Press Democrat. Possible paywall.

Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery has received another “Wine of the Week” award for their 2020 Majestic Elk Red Blend from The Press Democrat.

“This Bordeaux blend has aromas and flavors of black raspberries and plum and an undercurrent of cracked black pepper. Complex with a supple texture, it’s striking.”

Ready the full article.

33 Valentine’s Day Gifts to Delight Her Heart

Editor’s note: Full article is posted on Home Business Magazine.

“Brassfield’s Eruption 2019 embodies the vibrant spirit of Lake County, CA, influenced by the dynamic eruptions of the region’s recent volcanoes. Crafted at Brassfield Estate with an emphasis on quality and traditional hand-crafted techniques, this wine reflects both power and finesse, reminiscent of the strongest love stories. Harvested in the early morning to ensure optimal quality, the components of Eruption were fermented separately in small lots, enhancing varietal attributes for the perfect blend. Aged on French and American Oak for 10 months, it boasts structure and character. Lightly fined and filtered before bottling, this wine captures the essence of Lake County’s volcanic soul in every sip.”

Read the full article.

Follow the Lake County Winegrape Commission on LinkedIn

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Connect with LCWC on LinkedIn to see and share articles about Lake County wine as they’re released. Not only will you stay in the know, your support provides additional exposure for the region.

Ratings & Reviews

Lake County Wines received numerous awards at the 2024 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Congratulations to these outstanding wineries:

  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2022 Chardonnay, Best of Class
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2021 Rose Sparkling (Red Hills Lake County), Best of Class
  • Boatique Wines 2020 Runabout Red Blend (Red Hills Lake County), Double Gold
  • chester. Wines 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, (Big Valley District-Lake County), Double Gold
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Franc (Red Hills Lake County), Double Gold
  • Langtry Farms 2021 Tephra Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Double Gold
  • R Vineyards 2020 Russell Rocks, Double Gold
  • Yonah Mountain Vineyards 2017 Steamboat Dessert Wine (Lake County/ Amador County/ Mendocino County), Double Gold
  • Boatique Wines 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County), Gold
  • Brassfield Estate 2022 Chardonnay (High Valley), Gold
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2020 Syrah, Gold
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2022 Chardonnay, Gold
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County), Gold
  • Langtry Farms 2021 Tephra Ridge Merlot, Gold
  • Langtry Farms 2021 Tephra Ridge Old Soldier Road Red Blend, Gold
  • Langtry Farms 2022 Lillie’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Guenoc Valley), Gold
  • Osprey Vineyards 2020 Hindcite Red Nero d Avola (Big Valley District-Lake County), Gold
  • Shed Horn Cellars 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold
  • Six Sigma Winery 2020 Marianne’s Reserve Syrah, Gold
  • The Meeker Vineyard 2021 La Sierra Vineyard Mourvèdre (High Valley), Gold

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

  • Brassfield Estate 2020 Eruption (High Valley), 91 Points
  • Clay Shannon 2020 The David Red, 92 Points
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County), 91 Points
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2020 Petite Sirah (Red Hills Lake County), 91 Points
  • High Valley Vineyard 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon (High Valley), 90 Points

volcanic wines logo

Volcanic Wines International (VWI), in collaboration with Wine & Spirits Magazine, has announced the first annual Volcanic Wine Awards Competition. Set to launch this spring in New York, the competition aims to honor exceptional wines grown in volcanic terroirs worldwide.

Entry deadline is April 15. Wines will be judged on May 8 and winners will be announced at the International Volcanic Wines Conference on June 18.


North Coast Wine Challenge logo

On April 2-3, 2024, a collection of esteemed wine professionals will gather in Santa Rosa to evaluate entries in the 2024 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge. Competition managers are now accepting entries for the 12th annual NCWC.

Enter the competition before midnight, March 11 for an Early Bird discount. Final entry deadline is March 22.


LCWC Grape Marketplace


In the market for bulk wine? Visit the Marketplace page of the LCWC website for an up-to-date list of Lake County bulk wine and grapes available for sale.

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

View February report from Dr. Gregory Jones.

Affiliate Sponsor: G3 Enterprises

11th Anniversary Global Wine Conversations

G3 Enterprises event image

The annual Global Wine Conversations, hosted by Diam Bouchage and G3 Enterprises, is a series of events designed to offer valuable insights and fresh perspectives in winemaking and wine marketing. Each year, the event features expert panels of industry professionals who provide valuable insights into current trends and their perspectives of the market. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to refine their tasting skills and enjoy discussions around diverse selections of wines in a blind tasting hosted by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein who selects top quality wines, all closed under DIAM, from all around the world.

Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
Date: March 7, 2024
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Affiliate Sponsor: HotSpot Ag

Hotspot AG - logo horizontal

HotSpot AG is committed to delivering accurate data in real time while protecting the confidentiality of your information. We make information accessible on any of your devices and reports that are easy to produce with just the click of a mouse. Download your desired data into an excel document for fast and pain-free compliance. You can rely on a secure connection and software safety to keep the data you want private, while staying well informed.

You’ll not only obtain static water but also pumping water levels to visualize groundwater drawdown on your property’s wells. HotSpot AG allows you to connect to a pump for remote control or simply monitor when the pump is running to know how it correlates to groundwater levels. Additionally, growers are able to view trends in the groundwater aquifer.



    LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
    LCWC Board Meeting @ Video Conference
    Apr 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, April 11, 2024
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