January 2017 Newsletter


2016: An Outstanding Year for Lake County Wines

Read the full LCWC press release here.

Awareness of Lake County as a source of high-quality wine is clearly on the rise, according to the Lake County Winery Association and Lake County Winegrape Commission, which noted a significant number of 90+ ratings for Lake County wines released in 2016.

“This year may be the ‘tipping point,'” said Terry Dereniuk, Executive Director of the Lake County Winery Association. “We’ve never seen this level of attention, from critics as well as consumers. Today, Lake County wines stand on their own, appearing regularly on retailers’ shelves and restaurant wine lists as both sellers and buyers recognize the quality of these outstanding wines.”

Winemakers in Napa and Sonoma have been buying fruit from Lake County for many years and blending it into their wines. Increasingly, wines made from ultra-premium Lake County grapes are bottled and labeled as such, drawing praise from critics like Robert Parker and Wine Enthusiast.

In 2016, for example, Wine Enthusiast awarded 90 points or better to more than 30 wines. Here is a sampling:

2000 Chacewater Tawny Port (Lake County): 94 points

2011 High Valley Petite Sirah (High Valley, Lake County): 93 points, “Editors’ Choice”

2013 Obsidian Ridge Estate Grown Syrah (Red Hills, Lake County): 93 points, “Cellar Selection”

2012 Steele Stymie Syrah (Lake County): 93 points, “Cellar Selection”

2012 Peter Franus Red (Red Hills, Lake County): 94 points, “Editors’ Choice”

(The full list with links to the reviews can be viewed on the Lake County Winery Association web site.)

Parker, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the most influential wine critics in the world, also is paying attention to Lake County and recently reviewed several wines from Obsidian Ridge:

2013 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 93 points

2014 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 92 points

2014 Obsidian Ridge Syrah (Red Hills): 92 points

In his review of the 2013 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills, Parker noted “impressive intensity, a dense ruby/purple color, loads of licorice, graphite, mineral and black fruits, a medium to full body and moderate tannin.” Read More

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California's Healthy Soils Initiative Banner

CDFA and USDA to Host Joint Summit on Healthy Soils

The public is invited to a Soils Summit hosted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on healthy soil and climate smart agriculture. The meeting provides an opportunity to explore roles and collaborative opportunities for managing California soils for health and natural fertility while reducing greenhouse gases.

Location: CDFA Auditorium, 1220 N St., Sacramento
Date: Jan. 11, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Both CDFA and NRCS have healthy soil initiatives available to interested farmers. NRCS programs are ongoing while CDFA’s initiative is slated to begin in 2017. Additionally, numerous agencies, universities, non-profits and organizations are currently researching or pursuing paths to soil sustainability. The soil summit will hear from a number of these groups. An open microphone discussion will finalize the day’s events.

For more information, view the soil summit agenda.

Momentum 2017

The must-attend event for the Lake County winegrape industry.

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

Register now!


Volcanic Wines by John Szabo book coverThis year’s keynote speaker is Master Sommelier John Szabo, partner and principal critic for WineAlign.com, Canada’s largest wine publication. Mr. Szabo has been listed as “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International. He has published in dozens of magazines and newspapers, and his books include Pairing Food and Wine For Dummies and Sommelier Management. His latest book is Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power. Learn More

Lake County winegrape growers can attend for free by registering in advance and entering promo code GROWER17.

Space is limited. Advance registration required. Presented by the Lake County Winegrape Commission.

Precision Wireless Improves Communications and Operations for Lake County Customers

Employees at Lake County vineyards and wineries can face a number of challenges in communicating with one another, including distance, ambient noise, and adverse conditions. Quick, clear communications are imperative for operations to run smoothly.

Precision Wireless logoTwo-way radios provide a fast, easy, and predictable alternative to cell phones, a fact well known by customers of Precision Wireless Service, an affiliate sponsor of the Lake County Winegrape Commission. Precision Wireless provides two-way radios and services to growers and wineries in Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties. The company also serves industries such as hospitality, education, construction, law enforcement, and many others.

Sam Whitehead, the company’s owner and general manager, founded Precision Wireless in 1998 and has more than 35 years of experience in the two-way radio business. Mr. Whitehead explains that the company’s products are not the same quality as consumer hobby equipment or the types of two-way radios you find in big box stores.

“We provide industrial-grade, business-quality radio equipment and infrastructure that is durable and reliable,” he said. “An investment in two-way radios provides better communication, greater productivity, and enhanced safety.” Read More

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Job Postings

Interested in opportunities in the Lake County winegrape industry? Keep an eye on this section of the newsletter to learn about available jobs.

Vineyard Foreman. A Lake County/Napa County vineyard is looking for a vineyard foreman. Full-time, permanent position. Very good pay which includes benefits. You will: Manage regular staff and seasonal workers. Provide close supervision of Farm Labor Contactor crews. Keep shop and equipment clean and perform routine maintenance on vineyard equipment.

For more information, contact Donna Parker at (707) 571-0400. Resumes may be sent to donna@winepro.com.

To include an opening in a future LCWC newsletter, please send a brief job summary with contact info to debras@lakecountywinegrape.org.


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