June 2019 Newsletter

Sustainable Farming Practices workshop, Lake County (c) Nathan DeHart

In this Issue…

Sustainable Practices “Tailgate” Seminar
Lake County Featured at Second Annual Volcanic Wine Conference
AgVenture Lite: What We Know About Clear Lake
LCWC Seats New Board Members
LCWC Recognizes David Weiss for Dedicated Leadership
CAWG Summer Conference: June 25 – 26
Other Upcoming Events
CAWG’s Statewide Update: Disposing of Old Wood Posts
Lake County Wines in the News
District 2 Assessment Rate for Harvest Year 2019
Wine & Grape Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report


Sustainable Farming Practices Tailgate Seminar (c) Nathan DeHart

Sustainable Practices “Tailgate” Seminar

On June 13, the Lake County Winegrape Commission partnered with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) to host Implementing Sustainable Farming Practices: Water and Pest Management workshop at Beckstoffer Vineyards-Red Hills.

This in-the-vineyard “tailgate” seminar was held at Beckstoffer Vineyards’ Crimson Ridge Vineyard in the Red Hills Lake County AVA. About 30 growers learned about irrigation practices, pest detection and management techniques, and the process and value of sustainability certification.

Presenters included Clint Nelson, Beckstoffer Vineyards-Red Hills, Bryan Rahn, Coastal Viticulture Consultants, Paul Zellman, Viticulture Consultant, Lucia Varela, UC IPM Advisor, Jeff Gleaves, Grow West, Glenn McGourty, UC Cooperative Extension Mendocino and Lake Counties, and Lisa Francioni, CSWA. Gourmet box lunches were provided by Rosey Cooks.

Handouts from the event are available on the LCWC website.

2019 Volcanic Wine Conference, New York

Lake County Featured at Second Annual International Volcanic Wine Conference

The Lake County Winegrape Commission continued its outreach to sommeliers and industry professionals by pouring wines at the second Annual International Volcanic Wine Conference (IVWC) in New York on June 5.

The trade event, put on my John Szabo MS, featured seminars and a Grand Tasting with wines from volcanic regions around the world.

LCWC showcased 10 volcanic wines from the Lake County winegrowing region, shared information about the wines, and engaged in conversation with trade and media about the region.

Many thanks to our Lake County representatives: Jerry and SuSan Brassfield of Brassfield Estate, Jonathan Walters of Brassfield Estate, and Clay and Angie Shannon of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines.

Visit https://www.volcanicwinesinternational.com/ivwc for more information.

Agventure Lite, Lake County, June 2015, Greg Giusti on stage at Soper Reese Theatre

AgVenture Lite: What We Know About Clear Lake

In partnership with the Lake County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture and Lake County Winegrape Growers, Greg Giusti, Emeritus Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, presented What We Know About Clear Lake at the Soper Reese Theatre on June 13.

The audio recording of his presentation is available on our new podcast channel, The Vine Line.

LCWC Seats New Board Members

At its May 7, 2019, meeting, the Lake County Winegrape Commission Board of Directors seated the three Board Members elected by eligible winegrape growers to serve the 2019-21 term: new Board Member Cameron Mauritson of L & L Vineyards and incumbents Keith Brandt of Bella Vista Farming Company and Bruce Merrilees of Castilleja Farms.

In addition, the Board voted to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of former Board Member John McCarthy by appointing former LCWC Board Member Jonathan Walters of Brassfield Estate and Walters Vineyards to serve the remainder of the term.

The Board also appointed the following officers for this year: Broc Zoller as Chair, Bruce Merrilees as Vice Chair, and Bonnie Sears as Secretary-Treasurer.

The other grower members serving on the eight-member Board include Bonnie Sears of Beckstoffer Vineyards, Bill Oldham of Oldham Vineyards, and Broc Zoller of Zoller Vineyards, as well as a Board-appointed public member Pete Dodson of Savings Bank of Mendocino County.

We thank each of them for their dedication to serving our industry.

Cameron Mauritson, LCWC Board Member
New LCWC Board Member Cameron Mauritson of L & L Vineyards

LCWC Recognizes David Weiss for Dedicated Leadership

David Weiss, LCWC Board MemberThe Lake County Winegrape Commission’s Board of Directors and Staff recognize the valuable contribution and dedicated leadership of David Weiss, outgoing LCWC Board Chair, throughout his eight years of service on the Board.

At the Board’s May 7, 2019, meeting, incoming LCWC Board Chair Broc Zoller presented Weiss with a plaque on behalf of the Board and staff. Together, Broc and LCWC President Debra Sommerfield thanked David for his steadfast commitment to the Commission’s work.

During his service on the Board, David helped elevate the quality of winegrowing in Lake County and increase the industry’s awareness of the uniqueness of the region. He helped guide the creation of LCWC’s prestigious Master Vigneron Academy®, worked to help establish LCWC’s office and training facility, and provided valuable management insight to LCWC’s Finance Committee.

Owner of Bella Vista Farming Company and long-time winegrape grower, David has always willingly shared his knowledge to support the growth of the industry, whether it be in service on the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Board, educating local leaders through the California Women for Ag AgVenture program, or providing insight in the creation of the Big Valley District – Lake County AVA.

At the Board’s meeting, special recognition was made of his leadership during a particularly challenging year marked by the impact of wildfire. Serving as Chair during that time, David helped lead LCWC’s efforts to educate growers on crop insurance and contracts, identify the scope of the impact of the fire on the local grower community, and launch a real-time smoke impact research program to provide actionable insights.

Please join us in thanking David Weiss for his commitment to the Lake County wine industry!

CAWG Summer Conference: June 25 – 26

CAWG logoThe California Association of Winegrape Growers hosts its annual summer conference June 25-26 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

This two-day event kicks off on Tuesday, June 25 with a speaker program and annual business meeting, followed by the awards of excellence reception and dinner. The event will wrap-up on Wednesday, June 26 with the first annual CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament.

The conference features a line-up of educational sessions and speakers, including:

  • Keynote Address: Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • What’s Driving the Trend in Industry Acquisitions and Consolidation?
  • A Roundup on Glyphosate – What’s the Real Story?
  • Strategies to Secure and Retain a Viable, Productive Workforce
  • Utilizing the Crush Report to Make Sound Business Decisions

Download a flier with the full conference program and registration form.

If you have questions, contact the CAWG office at (916) 379-8995 or visit the website: www.cawg.org

Other Upcoming Events

Red White & Blues event logo, Lake County

Red, White, and Blues: July 6

Presented by: Lake County Winery Association
Location: Langtry Estate, Middletown
Date: Saturday, July 6, 2019

Taste award-winning wines from Lake County wineries, then cast your vote. Live music by Blues Farm and BBQ lunch catered by The Greenview Restaurant.

Purchase Tickets

Lake County Wine Auction: September 21

Lake County Wine Alliance logoPresented by: Lake County Wine Alliance
Location: Chacewater Winery, Kelseyville
Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019

Since its inception, the Lake County Wine Alliance has contributed $1,597,252 to worthy programs in Lake County, donating more funds to local charities from a single event than any other local nonprofit organization.

Purchase Tickets

CAWG’s Statewide Update: Disposing of Old Wood Posts

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

A big challenge for many industries including growers is how to dispose of treated wood waste. This may include posts, sill plates, fencing, landscaping timbers, pilings, guardrails, decking and other wood. Many growers have moved to using steel posts because disposing of old wood posts has been difficult under California law. However, as steel prices remain unpredictable after peaking at a record high last summer, some growers may be contemplating going back to wood.

The legislature may make the return to wood more appealing by helping to address the problem of the disposal of wood waste. SB 68 (Galgiani, D-Stockton) is proposing to allow the disposal of treated wood waste in a Class I hazardous waste landfill or a composite-lined portion of a solid waste landfill (Class II or Class III) on a permanent basis. This law was set to expire in 2020.

By increasing the number of landfills that can safely accept treated wood waste, SB 68 is a common-sense solution to a significant challenge. This bill was recently amended and will be heard in its first committee hearing on June 18.

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

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which won gold at the 2019 California State Fair.

Double Gold Medal / Best of Class

  • Steele 2016 Malbec (Also won “Best of California”)
  • Cache Creek 2017 Rose

Gold Medal / Best of Class

  • Brassfield 2016 Eruption (High Valley)
  • Cache Creek 2016 Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Chardonnay

Gold Medal

  • Brassfield 2016 Pinot Noir (High Valley)
  • Cache Creek 2017 Chardonnay
  • Cache Creek 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shannon Ridge 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Shannon Ridge 2017 Buck Shack Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shannon Ridge 2017 Buck Shack Red Blend
  • Shannon Ridge 2017 Petite Sirah
  • Shed Horn 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Steele 2018 Shooting Star Sauvignon Blanc
  • Steele 2015 Petit Verdot
  • Thorn Hill 2017 Big Magic Red Blend

Sunset International Wine Competition

Congratulations also to these Lake County wines, which won gold medals at the Sunset International Wine Competition.

  • ÆRENA Wines 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon: Double Gold
  • Brassfield Estate 2016 Eruption: Gold
  • Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa/Lake): Gold
  • Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2013 Latigo Dessert Wine: Best of Class, Double Gold
  • Pech Merle 2018 Sauvignon Blanc: Gold
  • Shannon Ridge 2016 Clay Shannon Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa/Lake): Gold

District 2 Assessment Rate for Harvest Year 2019

At its meeting on June 18, 2019, the Lake County Crush District 2 Winegrape Commission Board of Directors voted to maintain the assessment rate for Harvest 2019 at one percent (1%) of the gross dollar value of winegrapes and/or wine sold by growers to vintners.

LCWC Grape Marketplace, vineyard workers harvest red wine grapes

Grape & Wine Marketplace

For the full listing of Lake County grapes and bulk wine for sale, visit the Marketplace page of the LCWC web site.

Grapes For Sale

45 tons of Sauvignon Blanc, Big Valley AVA. Contact Pilar Luchsinger: 707-489-2632 or pilar@luchsingervineyards.com

30+ tons of Cabernet Franc, Red Hills AVA. Contact Craig Shannon: 707-349-7892 or deerhntr1963@hotmail.com

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“The temperature forecast for June through August is holding to the western US likely seeing a warmer than average summer, while precipitation is forecast to be near average most places (which means seasonally dry)…”

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


    LCWC Finance Committee Meeting 10:00 am
    LCWC Finance Committee Meeting @ Video Conference
    Jun 13 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
    Agenda – LCWC Finance Committee Meeting, June 13, 2024
    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
    Jun 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, June 25, 2024
    LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
    LCWC Board Meeting @ LCWC Office
    Jun 25 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, June 25, 2024
        Skip to content