March 2018 Newsletter

Red Hills with Snow, (c) Bruce Merrilees

In this Issue…

Sauvignon Blanc Experience Early-Bird Tickets On Sale
Lake County Travels to Dallas for TEXSOM International Wine Awards
NYC Event to Focus on Volcanic Wines, Featuring Lake County Wines
Lake County Wines in the News
Reminder: Ballots Due March 31
Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar
Grape & Wine Marketplace
Meet LCWC’s Newest Sponsor: G3 Enterprises
Weather & Climate Report

Sauvignon Blanc Experience Banner

Sauvignon Blanc Experience Early-Bird Tickets On Sale for Grand Tasting and International Symposium

Discounted tickets for the Sauvignon Blanc International Symposium and the Grand Tasting are available until April 15. Get yours before the prices go up.

Sauvignon Blanc International Symposium, May 4

If you work in the wine industry as a winemaker, sommelier, wine retailer, journalist, or blogger, the International Symposium is for you. Go very deep on Sauvignon Blanc: explore regional differences, clone and yeast trials, impact of brix levels, and much more. It’s a full day of technical tasting, trials, and presentations.

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Sauvignon Blanc Grand Tasting, May 5

For wine enthusiasts, Sauvignon Blanc is the white varietal that is suddenly red hot. And the Grand Tasting is the place to taste a wide range of Sauvignon Blanc wines from Northern California, New Zealand, and other regions. Take a world tour of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy a few special surprises we’re cooking up for fans of this versatile varietal.

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Learn more or buy tickets:

Lake County Travels to Dallas for TEXSOM International Wine Awards

In a continued effort to build awareness of Lake County among sommeliers, wine judges, and others involved in the TEXSOM community, the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) – along with the Lake County Winery Association – sponsored a lunchtime presentation and tasting during the TEXSOM International Wine Awards in Dallas in mid-February.

Several Lake County wines were poured for a team of sommelier volunteers, a sommelier panel of 40 from across the country, and close to 70 judges from around the world – a group of nearly 150 wine professionals in total.

Former LCWC Chairman Peter Molnar made a presentation that highlighted the region’s volcanics, elevation, lake effect, and diurnal swing, and answered many questions from an eager audience. Maria Brunn, LCWA Executive Director, and Debra Sommerfield, LCWC President, also engaged in conversation with sommeliers at the event.

For more information about this event, visit

Lake County Wines at TEXSOM

Peter Molnar at TEXSOM

Peter Molnar presented at TEXSOM International Wine Awards in February.

Volcanic Wines International Logo

NYC Event to Focus on Volcanic Wines, with Major Presence from Lake County

John Szabo
Master Sommelier John Szabo

LCWC is partnering with the Lake County Winery Association to create a strong Lake County presence at the first International Volcanic Wines Conference held in New York City on March 27.

The conference comprises a grand tasting and four breakout sessions. Lake County is the only U.S. region with a dedicated breakout session, and we also will have a regional Lake County table during the grand tasting.

The Lake County Breakout Session will feature author and event organizer John Szabo, MS, as moderator; former LCWC chairman Peter Molnar; and soil scientist Paul Skinner. They will discuss the volcanic nature of our region and step through several Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

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

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition logo
A number of wines from Lake County were honored at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Here are the top winners.

Best of Class

Cache Creek Vineyards 2016 “Sunset on the Vine” (Lake County)

Double Gold

Brassfield Estate Winery 2014 “Eruption” (High Valley)
Chacewater 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County)
Chacewater 2016 Chardonnay (Lake County)
Shed Horn Cellars 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County)


Cache Creek Vineyards 2014 “Elk in Velvet” Dessert Wine (Lake County)
Dancing Crow Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County)
Fore Family Vineyards 2016 Grenache Blanc (Red Hills)
Gregory Graham 2012 “Cinder Cone” (Red Hills)
Obsidian Ridge 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills)
Six Sigma Ranch 2014 Tempranillo (Lake County)
Six Sigma Ranch 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County)

Reminder: Ballots Due March 31

The Lake County Winegrape Commission is conducting its annual Board Member elections for four of the seven elected Board positions. Ballots were mailed to all eligible growers and are due by March 31, 2018.

Completed ballots are submitted to and tabulated by the auditing firm of Pehling & Pehling CPAs and certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

For more information, please contact LCWC President Debra Sommerfield at (707) 279-2633, ext. 302.

Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Participate in this free webinar to learn about the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP), how to complete a Self-Assessment using the SWP Online System, and the steps required to become Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE). Free Performance Metrics online tracking tools and other helpful tools and resources will also be covered.

Register for this webinar here >

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

Available: 70 – 90 tons of Sauvignon Blanc from Sleeper Vineyards. Contact Ken and Pam Sleeper at (707) 275-2494 or

Grapes Wanted

Winemaker Kevin Luther of Wise Villa Winery is seeking the following grape varietals for the 2018 vintage. Please contact for more information.

Touriga Nacional (2-3 tons)
Tempranillo (2-3 tons)
Tannat (2-6 tons)
Sangiovese (2-4 tons)
Petit Verdot (2-4 tons)
Pinot Noir (4-8 tons)
Pinot Gris (2-4 tons)
Sauvignon Blanc (4-8 tons)
Albarino (3-6 tons)
Grenache (2-6 tons)
Malbec (2-6 tons)

Kevin is specifically interested in organically grown winegrapes, but this is not a requirement. He is also interested in other varieties, if organically grown.

Camille Benitah Consulting is looking for 50 – 70 tons of high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon for 2018, with a possibility of a two-year contract. Camille is also in the market for 10 tons of Cabernet Franc, 10 tons of Merlot, 10 tons of Malbec, and 10 tons of Petit Verdot. Contact Camille by email at, or by phone at (707) 738-1078.

Affiliate Sponsor

Meet LCWC’s Newest Sponsor: G3 Enterprises

G3 Enterprises logoG3 Enterprises is an industry-leading packaging, bottling, and logistics provider offering exclusive products and services in the following areas: custom and stock closures, label printing, warehousing and third-party logistics, transportation, full-service bottling (onsite and mobile capabilities), glass distribution, and bottle etching and decorating. G3 is the exclusive North American distributor of the distinguished DIAM® cork for still wine and Mytik DIAM cork for sparkling wine, Boisé premium oak chips and staves, and the one-way petainerKeg™.

The G3 Ag hauling team manages the largest fleet of gondola trailers in the wine industry. Working with wineries and growers throughout the California wine regions, G3 has transported 1.4 million tons of grapes, representing 36% of California’s wine grape harvest. The company provides flexible solutions to help wineries and growers maximize efficiency via multiple size of bins (6 ton, 2 ton and 1/2 ton), multiple types of trailers (gondolas and flatbeds), and a “Shuttle Drop” program. The G3 Ag team is engaging in the industry conversation, proactively invests in new technologies, and meets compliance mandates.

G3 Enterprises Ag Hauling
In addition, G3 provides value-added manufacturing services such as bottling line checkups and setups. As an industry leader in oxygen management, the team specializes in oxygen management in packaging components including cork, cap, glass, box, single-serve, and PET kegs. The company also offers process modeling and optimization using advanced analytics, and it provides consultation and testing for all its packaging.

Learn more about G3 at or schedule your harvest planning or technical services needs at

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

The March climate report from Dr. Gregory Jones is out. “Short term forecasts call for more late winter, early spring rains and snowpack additions at least through the third week of the month. Temperatures are expected to stay cooler than average…” Download Report (PDF)


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