July 2021 Newsletter
A Note from Commission President
As summer is now in full swing and temperatures climb, irrigation is on top of everyone’s mind. Fellow growers are discussing the importance of sustainable water use for conservation and vine health and they continue to share current best practices. This includes a range of protocols, such as vine moisture monitoring, stress testing, drip system distribution uniformity, and perhaps the simplest of all practices – night-time irrigation, which makes every drop more effective.
Here are a few useful resources:
- Water Stewardship in Drought Conditions (recorded webinar)
- Drip Irrigation and Monitoring Stress Levels (videos)
- Distribution Uniformity Testing (testing kits)
Long-time stewards of the land, Lake County winegrowers can set an example of how to conserve and preserve precious resources.
In this Issue…
Grower Spotlight: Monica & Dave Rosenthal
Lake County Winery Passport
Lake County Wine Auction
Lake County Wines in the News
Affiliate Sponsor: Sunridge Nurseries
Affiliate Sponsor: Vineyard Industry Products
Grape & Wine Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report
Grower Spotlight: Monica and Dave Rosenthal
Striving for Balance in a World of Extremes
Dave Rosenthal’s parents, Janet and Pat, arrived in Lake County roughly a half-century ago on an unlikely mission to make wine. The couple bought an abandoned vineyard two hours from home and drove there every weekend, first to repair the property, then to harvest it.
Dave was in high school when his parents took the leap. “They had zero background,” he said. “They bought a general viticulture book and read it chapter by chapter. They basically did everything three or four times, learning as they went.”
Roots of a life in winegrapes were taking hold in the mind and spirit of the couple’s son too. Dave eventually set off for the University of California Davis to study winemaking and viticulture, following a path taken by so many of his modern peers in Lake County and across the region. After living and working in Lake County, Dave eventually went on to work at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma County. This is where he met Monica, his future bride. A decade later, they came to Lake County and began managing the family vineyards.
Dave and Monica now reside in Middletown. Here and far beyond, they are known for their expertise, integrity, sustainable farming, and award-winning wines. R Vineyards recently received double gold medals for their 2018 Cabernet Franc and 2018 Reba Red Blend at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Above all, they are known for, and especially take pride in, “doing it right,” striving for balance in a world of extremes.
Making a Case for Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
Much of Lake County’s success with Sauvignon Blanc can be attributed to Dave’s efforts while at Buena Vista Winery. Dave introduced the winemaking team to grapes from the region and it led to a program that grew tremendously in a short amount of time.
“Buena Vista had a Sauvignon Blanc program based on grapes in Alexander Valley, and it was a pretty green, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc,” Dave said. “That’s what people thought that Sauvignon Blanc should taste like.”
Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County, conversely, brought fruit characteristics that diverged from the established norms. A wine-tasting panel responded. “That was the wine that the tasting panel liked best,” Dave said.
Production soared to 5,000 cases, more than what was being produced across Alexander Valley at the time. Two gold medals and a best-in-show award followed over a two-month period. Within a few months, the variety sold out. The following year, another five gold medals came and another 12,000 cases went out in eight months. Production nearly doubled the following year and eventually swelled to 80,000 cases with Lake County on the label.
“When we talk about the future of Lake County,” Monica said, “it’s reaching out to find those openings that are beyond Lake County. There are opportunities to really let the world know about what Lake County is doing here with grapes and grape growing.”
Inspiring the Community
Both Dave and Monica are part of the fabric of a tight-knit Lake County winemaking community, unique as much for its sense of unity as for the flavors stemming from its vines. The Rosenthals were integral in the formation of the Lake County Winegrape Commission, and Monica has held a wide range of local leadership roles, including positions with the county Farm Bureau, Planning Commission, Winery Association, Fair Board, and Economic Development Corporation.
“There’s a commonality of purpose here in Lake County,” Dave said, “and so over the years we’ve worked really well together.”
That bodes well for Lake County winemaking. “I think we’ll continue to have better made wines from varieties grown in the best locations in the county. I think our reputation will just continue to grow.”
For the next generations of winemakers, integrating into the community is part of the appeal and an essential ingredient for success. “Talk to people,” Dave said.
Monica elaborated, “Work closely with winemakers,” she explained. “Learn all the little changes that make a difference in the bottle, both quality and flavor, because Lake County has the potential to produce wines packed with flavor.”
It’s a lesson the Rosenthal family has been continually learning and sharing for almost 50 years.
Photo credit: Nathan DeHart
Enjoy Complimentary Tastings at 18 Lake County Wineries
The 2021 Lake County Winery Passport program features wineries around Lake County, offering participants the opportunity to discover and enjoy a variety of wonderful wines. Valid through 2021.
Lake County Wine Auction, September 18
This year’s Lake County Wine Auction is September 18, 2021 at Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill. Reserve your place at this exciting event or donate to support the important work of the Wine Alliance.
Formed in 2000, the Lake County Wine Alliance is operated under the guidance of a six-member volunteer board of directors with the purpose of supporting charitable and other local programs in the arts, health, and community. Since its inception, the Lake County Wine Alliance has contributed $2,077,752 to worthy programs in Lake County, donating more funds to local charities from a single event than any other local nonprofit organization. The Lake County Wine Alliance is also dedicated to promoting Lake County as a premier wine grapegrowing region and to promoting the region’s celebrated wines.
Lake County Wines in the News
Congratulations to the following wineries, which recently won awards for their Lake County–designated wines!
North Coast Wine Challenge
- Boatique Winery 2018 Petite Sirah (Red Hills): 92 Points
- Boatique Winery 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (Big Valley): 96 Points
- Brassfield Estate Winery 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (High Valley): 97 Points, Best of Lake County
- Brassfield Estate Winery 2017 Pinot Noir (High Valley): 97 Points
- Brassfield Estate Winery 2020 Serenity Rosé of Pinot Noir (High Valley): 93 Points
- Buck Shack 2018 Red Blend: 94 Points
- Buck Shack 2020 Rosé: 92 Points
- Cache Creek Vineyards 2019 Chardonnay: 97 Points
- Chacewater Winery 2014 Gwin Red Blend (Red Hills): 93 Points
- Chacewater Winery 2017 Malbec (Red Hills): 91 Points
- Engine House Wines 2020 Sauvignon Blanc: 94 Points
Sunset International Wine Competition
- Boatique Winery 2020 Rosé Malbec (Big Valley District); Double Gold, 96 Points
- Boatique Winery 2018 Petite Sirah (Red Hills): Gold, 94 Points
- Brassfield Estate Winery 2020 Serenity Rosé of Pinot Noir (High Valley): Double Gold, 95 Points
- Dancing Crow Vineyards 2020 Rosé of Syrah: Double Gold, 96 Points
- Dancing Crow Vineyards 2019 Zinfandel: Gold, 94 Points
- Draxton 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard Scott’s Valley Vineyards: Gold, 92 Points
- Thorn Hill Vineyards 2017 Big Magic: Gold, 92 Points
- Moon Tears 2020 Albariño: Double Gold, 95 Points
- Wild Diamond Vineyards 2017 Red Wine: Double Gold, 97 Points
New North Coast Vineyard Rep at Sunridge Nurseries
Annie’s previous position with Sunridge included building a customer service platform that includes nursery and field reports to better share with growers the status and growth of their vines. With this new role change, Annie will be able to put that platform into action as she takes on this sales territory.
Vineyard Industry Products
Jose has worked for VIP for over 16 years. He started as a delivery driver, worked outside sales for many years, and now manages the inside store sales and yard at our Windsor location. Jose loves helping people and that every day brings something new. When he is not working, Jose enjoys spending time with family and cooking. He has been married for over 15 years and is a proud papa of 3 children and a tiny fur baby named Daisy. We are grateful to have Jose on Team VIP!
Jose can be reached at 707-837-5410.
Grape & Wine Marketplace
For an up-to-date list of Lake County grapes and bulk wine for sale, visit the Marketplace page of the LCWC website.
Grapes for Sale
10 tons 2021 Cabernet Franc, Kelsey Bench, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Jeanne Kluge: 707-685-5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org
30 tons 2021 Cabernet Franc, Red Hills, Robertsbridge Vineyards. Contact Craig Shannon: 707-349-7892 or email@example.com
7 tons 2021 Cabernet Franc, La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
90-100 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills, Mount Olive Ranch. Contact Jaime Rosas: 707-262-2899
20-30 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Kelsey Bench, Dobish Vineyard, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Deb Dobish: 707-480-7044 or email@example.com
20 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills, Perry Ranch Vineyard, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Mike Ryan: 707-900-1586 or firstname.lastname@example.org
13 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or email@example.com
130 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Big Valley, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Jeanne Kluge: 707-685-5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org
80 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Kelsey Bench, Desafinado Vineyards (formerly Sweetwater Vineyards). Contact Deborah Cullen: 707-239-9135 or email@example.com
10 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Kelsey Bench, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Jeanne Kluge: 707-685-5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org
180-200 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills, Robertsbridge Vineyards. Contact Craig Shannon: 707-349-7892 or email@example.com
50 tons 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ceago Del Lago vineyard. Contact Bernard Fetzer: 707-272-2958
20 tons 2021 Chardonnay, Big Valley, Pollywog Vineyard, farmed sustainably by Chevalier Vineyard Management. Contact Gayle Christopher: 626-722-7888 or firstname.lastname@example.org
200 tons 2021 Chardonnay, Big Valley, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Tim Roos: 209-499-6722 or email@example.com
18 tons 2021 Chardonnay, Kelsey Bench, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Jeanne Kluge: 707-685-5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org
20-30 tons 2021 Merlot, Kelsey Bench, Dobish Vineyard, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Deb Dobish: 707-480-7044 or email@example.com
20 tons 2021 Merlot, La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
5 tons 2021 Montepulciano, Kelsey Bench, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Jeanne Kluge: 707-685-5323 or email@example.com
22 tons 2021 Muscat, Loasa Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
13 tons 2021 Petite Sirah, Kelsey Bench, Las Lomas Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or email@example.com
10 tons 2021 Pinot Noir, Loasa Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
15 tons 2021 Sangiovese, Kelsey Bench, Certified California Sustainable. Contact Jeanne Kluge: 707-685-5323 or email@example.com
2 tons 2021 Syrah, La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3 tons 2021 Viognier, La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or email@example.com
8 tons 2021 Zinfandel, La Colina Vineyard. Contact Nellie Dorn: 707-349-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Weather & Climate
“Extreme heat started off June with a bang but will likely cool to average through mid-month then elevate to moderate to extreme warmth later in the month. The only precipitation events appear to be small frontal passages in the extreme PNW, or some eastside thunderstorms…”
Download the June weather report (PDF) from Dr. Gregory Jones.
LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Community & Industry Relations Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office and Video Conference
May 3 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Community Industry Relations Committee Meeting, May 3, 2022
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 1:00 pm
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office and Video Conference
May 10 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, May 10, 2022
LCWC Board Meeting 2:00 pm
Webinar – Water Resilience for Vineyards in Drought 8:00 am
Webinar – Water Resilience for Vineyards in Drought
May 11 @ 8:00 am – May 12 @ 12:00 pm
Join some of the top experts in viticulture and water to learn about policy, regulations, and strategies to cope with drought in vineyards. When: May 11 – 12, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Topics include:[...]
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