June 29, 2018 Newsletter

Vineyards, barn, sky with clouds, by Nathan DeHart

A Note from Commission President

Where does the time go? It seems like our spring event, the Sauvignon Blanc Experience, just occurred, and now we’re welcoming the summer season. This also means that the growing season is in full swing. The fruit set is looking good and we should have another great crop in a few months. Unfortunately, this summer has been a challenging time for our friends and neighbors who are dealing with the Pawnee Fire. Our thoughts go out to those affected by the fire and we wish them a quick recovery.

Debra Sommerfield

In this Issue…

New Website Provides Educational Resource on Lake County Wine
Now Available: Irrigation Distribution Uniformity Test Kits
USDA Housing Fairs Take Place in Lake County
Recent Articles About Lake County
Red White & Blues People’s Choice Coming Up
Lake County Wines in the News
State-of-the-Art Plant Testing at Wonderful Nurseries
Wine & Grape Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report

New Website Provides Educational Resource on Lake County Wine

What do a 19th century actress, Teddy Roosevelt, and a volcano have in common? Find out on LakeCountyWine.org

The Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) and Lake County Winery Association (LCWA) have launched a new website highlighting Lake County wine country. LakeCountyWine.org is an educational resource for both wine trade and consumers, who wish to discover and educate themselves on this up-and-coming region. Elements of this new educational resource, which was funded by a CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant, include specifics on what makes the area unique for grape growing, as well as in-depth information on the geology, climate and people of the area. Read More

Lake County Wine Country Website screenshot

Now Available: Irrigation Distribution Uniformity Test Kits

The Lake County Winegrape Commission has assembled two Distribution Uniformity test kits for growers to borrow and use in their vineyards. The DU test kits have instructions in English and Spanish.

Following vineyard establishment choices (location, variety, rootstock, spacing and trellis), vineyard water management is one of the most important annual cultural practices affecting winegrape quality. There are two critical water management questions: 1) When to irrigate? 2) How much water to apply? To answer these questions, a grower must know: 1) the vine moisture status between irrigations, and 2) the irrigation system’s current performance characteristics to determine how long to operate the irrigation system. Read More

Note: Distribution Uniformity testing is a prerequisite of the California Sustainable Winegrowing certification program. Please stop by the LCWC office in Kelseyville to borrow one of the kits.

Uniformity Distribution kit contents

USDA Housing Fairs Take Place in Lake County

The first of several planned housing fairs in Lake County took place on May 25 in Kelseyville. Sponsored in part by Beckstoffer Vineyards and Bella Vista Farms, the housing fair targeted the agricultural workforce of Lake County and was organized by the Lake County Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development.

The purpose of the fair was to increase awareness of available USDA Rural Development home loan programs with the goal of expediting homeownership for the Lake County workforce. Several targeted housing fairs will take place around Lake County with the next fair scheduled in July to address the ongoing rebuilding efforts in the Cobb and Middletown areas.

For more information on USDA Rural Development’s programs visit www.rd.usda.gov/ca. Contact the Lake County Economic Development Corporation at 3895 Main Street, Kelseyville, (707) 279-1540, ext. 101.

Recent Articles About Lake County

The Rise of the Red Hills of Lake County

By Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com

A burst of activity is under way in the Red Hills: In an AVA with 3,250 planted acres of grapevines, close to 1,000 are currently in the process of development or have been recently developed. That level of sudden growth is remarkable. Why the rush on the Red Hills…? Read More

Obsidian, SF Chronicle, photo by Santiago Meija
Shannon Ridge Family of Wines

Shannon Ridge Buys Winery for Growing Brands

By Jeff Quakenbush, North Bay Business Journal

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, the largest vintner based in Lake County, now has a winery to call its own. Shannon Wine Co. purchased the Nice Wine Co. production facility at 4900 Bartlett Springs Road in the Clear Lake north shore community of Nice on May 28. Read More

Beckstoffer Vineyards Opens New Office in Lake County’s Red Hills

Lake County News</em>

Andy Beckstoffer, perhaps the most recognized California grower of wine grapes, announced that Beckstoffer Vineyards will open its new Red Hills Station in the Red Hills AVA just outside Kelseyville on July 21. Read More

Andy Beckstoffer
Wine Enthusiast Sauvignon Blanc, by Meg Baggot

25 Sauvignon Blancs From Around the World

Wine Enthusiast

With almost 300,000 acres of Sauvignon Blanc planted worldwide, this multifaceted variety has solidified itself as one of the most popular white-wine grapes for winemakers and wine lovers alike. It is extremely versatile in style and terroir expression… Read More

Red White & Blues logo

Red White & Blues People’s Choice: July 7

The Lake County Winery Association recently announced the 2018 Red White & Blues People’s Choice tasting on July 7, 2018 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Brassfield Estate Winery. For more information and tickets go to www.eventbrite.com or www.lakecountywineries.org

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

Lake County Wines in the News

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which Wine Enthusiast recently rated a score of 90 points or better:

  • Sol Rouge 2014 Mourvèdre (Red Hills Lake County): 93 points
  • Sol Rouge 2014 Syrah (Red Hills Lake County): 93 points Editors’ Choice
  • Shannon 2016 Reserve Chardonnay (Red Hills Lake County): 92 points
  • Sol Rouge 2014 Gypsy Rouge Red (Red Hills Lake County) 92 points
  • Peter Franus 2014 Red (Red Hills Lake County): 92 points
  • Vigilance 2016 Chardonnay (Red Hills Lake County): 90 points
  • Writer’s Block 2015 Syrah (Lake County): 90 points Editors’ Choice
  • Writer’s Block 2015 Malbec (Lake County): 90 points Editors’ Choice
  • Writer’s Block 2016 Roussanne (Lake County): 90 points Editors’ Choice
  • Steele 2014 Stymie Founder’s Reserve Limited Production Merlot (Lake County) 90 points
  • Michael Pozzan 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County): 90 points Best Buy

Affiliate Sponsor

State-of-the-Art Plant Testing at Wonderful Nurseries

Wonderful Nurseries Testing FacilityLCWC Affiliate Sponsor Wonderful Nurseries recently announced the opening of a new, advanced-testing lab located in Shafter, 20 minutes from its nursery location. Senior virologist and plant pathologist Dr. Tefera Mekuria, PhD, manages the lab, which utilizes sensitive and precise commercial plant-testing technology.

Wonderful Nurseries built this facility to account for every possible testing situation, with testing areas designed to avoid cross-contamination. To learn more, visit the Wonderful Nurseries website.

Grape Marketplace banner, vineyard workers harvesting red winegrapes

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

70 – 90 tons of Sauvignon Blanc from Sleeper Vineyards. Clear Lake AVA. Contact Ken and Pam Sleeper at (707) 275-2494 or pammie4229@gmail.com

85 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon from Zoller Vineyards. Kelsey Bench AVA. $2,300/ton. Contact Broc Zoller at 707-349-1170 or szoller@hotmail.com

Bulk Wine for Sale

2017 Big Valley AVA Riesling wine made by Jed Steele. 1,800 gal at $11.00/gal. Contact Broc Zoller at 707-349-1170 or szoller@hotmail.com

Grapes Wanted

Shannon Gunier of North Coast Winegrape Brokers is looking to buy 20 – 40 tons of Lake County Sauvignon Blanc. For more information, contact Shannon at shannon@northcoastwinegrapes.com

Winemaker Kevin Luther of Wise Villa Winery is seeking several grape varietals for the 2018 vintage. Please contact kevin@wisevillawinery.com for more information.

Weather BannerWeather & Climate

The June climate report from Dr. Gregory Jones is out. “May was much warmer than normal over much of the western US, although Central to Southern California was near average to cooler than average due to prominent marine layer intrusions. The month ended up being one of the driest May’s on record…” Download Report (PDF)


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