January 2020 Newsletter

Red Hills with Snow, (c) Bruce Merrilees

In this Issue…

Reminder: Crop Insurance Deadline, January 31
Wine Submission Deadline for TEXSOM, January 31
Food & Wine Pairing at Mendocino College
Upcoming Events
CAWG’s Statewide Update
Lake County Wines in the News
2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
New LCWC Sponsor: Pellenc America
Weather & Climate Report

Reminder: Crop Insurance Deadline, January 31

Applications for and changes to crop insurance coverage for the upcoming 2020 crop year must be signed no later than January 31, 2020. Contact your insurance provider for details.

TEXSOM International Wine Awards logo

Wine Submission Deadline for TEXSOM, January 31

Wines will be accepted for submission to the TEXSOM International Wine Awards until January 31. The event will be held February 17 – 19.

Interested winemakers should submit 4 bottles (750 ml) or 6 bottles (375 ml) per entry. The cost is $105 per entry. Wine must be delivered by February 3. For more information, visit the TEXSOM website.

If you need assistance, contact TEXSOM at enter@texsomiwa.com or call (214) 886-1665.

Benefits for Award Winners

  • Award-winning wines announced via social media, email messaging, website, press release and publication partners
  • Exposure to TEXSOM’s international network of sommeliers and wine buyers with a tasting of medal-winning wines at the TEXSOM conference tasting events in August 2020
  • Award-winning wines presented at events throughout the country through wine tastings, wine dinners, and special events with restaurant and retail partners, including a signature event with Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco
  • Award-winning wines featured on the TEXSOM International Wine Awards website throughout the calendar year
  • Recognition by a group of the best palates in the country

Food & Wine Pairing at Mendocino College

Food & Wine Pairing flyer

Register to attend this fun and interactive course that meets weekly on Thursdays from 5:30 PM to 7:20 PM at Mendocino College, Lakeport Campus.

The class focuses on enhancing wine appreciation and features local wines from Lake and Mendocino Counties. Topics include a brief history of winemaking, characteristics of the major grape varietals, and general wine industry terminology.

For those who work in the restaurant, hospitality, wine, or tourism industries, this is an excellent opportunity to refine professional skills.

The cost of the full 16-week class is only $46 plus the textbook fee. To enroll, visit www.mendocino.edu or contact instructor Christine DePasquale at cdepasquale@mendocino.edu or (707) 603-9799.

Please note: Registration closes January 31 but late registration is possible. Contact Christine for more information.

Upcoming Events

Wine & Chocolate: February 1

Wine & Chocolate event flyer

Support a great cause and enjoy an afternoon of wine and chocolate at the Mt. Konocti Winery & Event Center.

The event takes place February 1 from 1 PM to 4 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the Lake Family Resource Center website. Or call (707) 279-0563.

The Lake Family Resource Center has been serving Lake County families since 1995 to achieve safe, sustainable, healthy families and community.

Barrels & Verticals: February 29

Lake County Barrels & Verticals 2020 logo

Plan now for the 4th Annual Barrels & Verticals. Enjoy this wine education experience with barrel and vertical tastings at multiple wineries around Lake County.

Date & Time
Sat, February 29, 2020
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The Lake County Winery Association invites you to jump into Leap Year with Barrels & Verticals! This fourth annual event is your opportunity to sample wines from the barrel and vertical tastings at numerous Lake County wineries. Learn more and purchase tickets: http://bit.ly/bv-2020

CAWG’s Statewide Update

By Michael Miiller, Director of Government Affairs for the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG)

CAWG logo

In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that unions could not spend certain union dues on political campaigns. It was widely predicted at the time that the decision would weaken union membership.

While this has been shown to be true nationally, it has not borne out in California. Last year, the number of Californians represented by unions rose by 139,000 workers.

That growth is predominantly in the public sector and was concurrent with a historic increase in jobs and the work force. However, 16.5% of public sector workers are in a labor union compared to only 7.1% in the private sector.

Clearly, the private sector is the next target for unions who pushed AB 5 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) through the legislature. AB 5 reclassifies many independent contractors as employees. As several industries are now dealing with potentially reclassifying truck drivers and other contractors as employees, unions are looking at AB 5 as an opportunity to organize.

Last fall, an editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune opined, “Unable to win in the free market, self-proclaimed labor representatives have largely abandoned the sector-based union strategy and instead shifted to using the force of government to demand all workers participate in a government-supervised union.”

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

Lake County Wines in the News

Wine Enthusiast’s Top-Scoring Wines

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

  • High Valley Vineyards 2017 Zinfandel (High Valley): 91 Points
  • Six Sigma Ranch 2015 Christian’s Reserve Tempranillo (Lake County): 94 Points, Cellar Selection
  • Six Sigma Ranch 2018 Michael’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County): 92 Points
  • Six Sigma Ranch 2018 Asbill Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County): 90 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2015 Cinsault (Red Hills): 91 Points
  • Sol Rouge 2018 Rosé (Lake County): 90 Points, Editor’s Choice

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition logo

2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

A number of wines from Lake County were honored at the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Here are the winners in Best of Class, Double Gold, and Gold categories.


  • Brassfield Estate Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Brassfield Estate Winery 2016 Malbec


  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2017 Petite Sirah
  • Hagafen 2019 Riesling
  • Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2015 Petite Sirah
  • Herzog 2017 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Matt Parish 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa/Sonoma/Lake
  • Obsidian Ridge 2017 Half Mile Cabernet Sauvignon
  • R Vineyards 2017 Zinfandel
  • Sol Rouge 2016 Cinsault
  • Sol Rouge 2016 Syrah
  • Wild Diamond 2014 Homme Barbera


  • Brassfield Estate Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Brian Arden Winery 2017 Barbera
  • Dumb Luck 2017 GSM
  • Moseley Family Cellars 2015 Merlot
  • Shed Horn Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Six Sigma Ranch 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sol Rouge 2016 Mourvedre
  • Stonehouse Cellars 2016 Bonaria Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Stonehouse Cellars 2016 Sticky Monkey Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Stonehouse Cellars 2016 Eastern European Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Sua Sponte Cellars 2018 Osprey Vineyard Nero d’Avola
  • Wild Diamond 2014 Barbera

Pellenc device for tying vines to wires

Affiliate Sponsor

New LCWC Sponsor: Pellenc America

With locations in Santa Rosa and Paso Robles, Pellenc America is the US headquarters for all industry-leading Pellenc products manufactured in France. Since Pellenc France’s founding in 1973, the PELLENC group has manufactured tools for agriculture, green spaces, and local communities, working closely with the sector to make human tasks easier while also increasing productivity.

The 1,489 employees of the PELLENC group are constantly seeking new ways of making the work of nature more enjoyable and more efficient, through our conviction that it is possible to be effective while also respecting the environment. Learn more

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“The seasonal forecast for January through March has the odds tilted to a near normal to warmer than average period for the Pacific Northwest south into California and across the southern tier of states to the east coast. Precipitation for Jan/Feb/Mar is forecast for near average in the PNW and northern California…”

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


    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays 4:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    Jul 17 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    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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