May 2020 Newsletter

Lake County vineyards with Mt. Konocti in the background by Nathan DeHart

A Note from Commission President

So much has drastically changed over the past weeks…events canceled, schools closed, friends and families isolated, long-awaited celebrations postponed. Yet, the essential work of farming continues.

The work necessary to grow, produce, and distribute food and drink is both challenging and vital as it sustains us all. Amid the uncertainty, may this reality settle in and spark a renewed sense of pride and purpose.

And as the understanding of COVID-19 evolves, so does the guidance for agricultural employers. Please visit our resources webpage for links to programs, protocols, suppliers, and best practices useful to safeguard our workforce and keep this noble work going.

Stay well,

Debra Sommerfield


In this Issue…

LCWC Presents a Virtual Sauvignon Blanc Wine Tasting
Cultivate 2020 Invites Students to Discover Careers in the Wine Industry
UCCE Webinar, May 8: Preparing for the Spotted Lanternfly
Lake County Wines in the News
G3 Enterprises Expands its Offerings, Highlights Solutions and Services
Vineyard Industry Products: Open and Serving
CAWG’s Statewide Update: Protecting Employers from Lawsuits
Wine & Grape Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report



Lake County Sauvignon Blanc Experience - Virtual Tasting banner

LCWC Presents a Virtual Wine Tasting Featuring Three Lake County Sauvignon Blanc Wines

On May 8 at 5:00 pm, the Lake County Winegrape Commission will present an interactive tasting of three Sauvignon Blanc wines from three Lake County producers. You are invited to join this virtual tasting as Joy Merrilees, Adam Forni, and Derek Holstein share insights on why Lake County is an ideal location to grow this varietal.

Lake County winemakers Joy Merrilees, Adam Forni, and Derek Holstein
Register today button
Sign up today. Attendance is limited. Advance registration is required.


Cultivate 2020 Invites Students to Discover Careers in the Wine Industry

Clint Nelson, Vineyard Manager, Beckstoffer Vineyards, presents an overview of careers in the winegrape industry
The Lake County Winegrape Commission and Lake County Farm Bureau hosted Cultivate 2020 on March 12 at Ely Stage Stop in Kelseyville. Approximately 90 students from four Lake County high schools attended the event where they had the opportunity to learn about winegrape cultivation, falconry for pest control, careers in sales and marketing, and cutting-edge technology in the winegrape industry.

A big thank you to the following speakers:

  • Brenna Sullivan, Executive Director, Lake County Farm Bureau
  • Clint Nelson, Vineyard Manager, Beckstoffer Vineyards
  • Lindee Jones, Pest Control Adviser (PCA), Grow West
  • Randy Krag, Owner/Operator, Round River Farms
  • Rebecca Rosen, Falconer, Authentic Abatement
  • Angie Shannon, VP of Sales & Marketing, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines
  • Christian Ahlmann, Vice President, Six Sigma Ranch
  • Bruce Merrilees, Owner, Merrilees Precision Farming
  • Joy Merrilees, Director of Winemaking and Production, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines
  • Jeff Gleaves, PCA, Grow West
  • Aldo Cabrera, Viticulture Technician, Beckstoffer Vineyards
  • Lake County District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown

Funding for this event was made possible by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the following sponsors: Allied Grape Growers, Bella Vista Farming Co., Beckstoffer Vineyards, Community Development Services, Grow West, Merrilees Precision Farming, Obsidian Ridge, Shannon Ranches, and Six Sigma Ranch.

Students arrive at Ely Stage Stop in Kelseyville for Cultivate 2020
Students arrive at Ely Stage Stop in Kelseyville for Cultivate 2020

Rebecca Rosen of Authentic Abatement demonstrates the beneficial role of falcons
Rebecca Rosen of Authentic Abatement discusses the beneficial role of falcons

Aldo Cabrera of Beckstoffer Vineyards shows how drones can be used in vineyards
Aldo Cabrera of Beckstoffer Vineyards shows how drones can be used in vineyards

Jeff Gleaves and Lindee Jones of Grow West demonstrate how to identify pests in the vineyard and how to protect the crop

Jeff Gleaves and Lindee Jones of Grow West demonstrate how to identify pests in the vineyard and how to protect the crop

Bruce Merrilees of Merrilees Precision Farming discusses mechanical and hand pruning techniques

Bruce Merrilees of Merrilees Precision Farming discusses mechanical and hand pruning techniques


UCCE Webinar, May 8: Preparing for the Potential Invasion of the Spotted Lanternfly

UC Extension logoOn Friday, May 8, UC Cooperative Extension will present a free webinar on the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that threatens both urban and agricultural areas.

First detected in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania, the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has caused economic damage to grapevines.

It feeds on fruit trees, hops, and woody ornamentals, and its preferred host is tree of heaven. Early detection is key to preventing establishment of the spotted lanternfly in California. For more information about the pest and pictures of its life stages, download this information sheet.

“Preparing for the Potential Invasion of the Spotted Lanternfly” will cover the biology, host range, and management of the invasive spotted lanternfly.

Register today for this free informational webinar.


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

Beckstoffer Vineyards Donates $100,000 for Covid-19 Relief

Beckstoffer Vineyards logoBeckstoffer Vineyards announced that the company will be donating $100,000 directly to individuals, not organizations, most in need in Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties.

Beckstoffer Vineyards will write more than 100 checks of $300 for each of the three counties totaling approximately $33,000 per county.

The Chambers of Commerce of each county will be determining which individuals and families will receive the checks, which are primarily earmarked for hourly workers who have lost their jobs due to layoffs from COVID-19, including hotel housekeepers, dishwashers, waitstaff, busboys and more. The checks from Beckstoffer Vineyards will be issued directly to individuals, not to the Chambers of Commerce or other organizations. There will be no administrative costs or fees.

Read the full press release


Shannon Ridge Family of Wines Turns to Eco-Friendly Bottles

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines is in the process of transitioning its portfolio of award-winning wine to environmentally friendly glass in their ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The new bottles will be lighter, reducing energy usage when shipping the wines across the nation. Additionally, the glass will be produced from recycled materials, furthering their commitment to sustainability and the environment.

From day one, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines was founded with environmental stewardship at its core. “Sustainability is a term that’s widely used and, frankly, we need to put some teeth into it,” states Clay Shannon, President and CEO.

Read the full press release


Food & Wine Recommends Shooting Star Zinfandel

Shooting Star ZinfandelIn a recent article, 12 Excellent Affordable California Wines to Buy Right Now, Food & Wine recognized the 2017 Shooting Star Lake County Zinfandel:

“Jed Steele’s been making wine for almost 50 years, and that experience shows through clearly in this peppery, blue-fruited Zinfandel from Lake County. It’s a surprisingly complex red for an appealingly modest price.”


Pappardelle & Artichokes, copyright California Wine InstituteA Lovely Partner for Lake County Sauvignon Blanc: Pappardelle with Artichokes, Peas, and Prosciutto

California Wines shared a delightful recipe to be enjoyed during warmer weather: “With this spring pasta dish, open a California Sauvignon Blanc…Napa Valley and Lake County are among the areas where this variety excels.”

Photo credit: California Wine Institute


Affiliate Sponsor

G3 Enterprises Expands its Offerings, Highlights Solutions and Services

G3 Enterprises logoLooking to better assist customers, G3 Enterprises highlighted a variety of new cost-effective solutions, services, and locations at this year’s Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in early February. The company provides wineries and viticulturists with more options and convenience to improve their operating efficiencies.

“Given the challenges currently facing our industry, G3 is focusing on how to better serve our customers so they can be more successful in the coming year,” says Tom Cook, President and CEO of G3 Enterprises. “We are focusing on providing more convenient solutions and locations to make more products, services and technical support available to help our customers improve their bottom line.”

G3 Enterprises has been offering packaging and logistics support for more than fifty years and provides wineries with the latest innovation and technical services ranging from oak, closures, labels, bottling, and packaging equipment to transportation and warehousing. The company serves more than 2,300 wineries, growers and beverage producers ranging from iconic brands to boutique offerings.

Read the full press release on WineBusiness.com


Affiliate Sponsor

VIP logo and banner

VIP: Open and Serving

The way we do business has changed a bit but Vineyard Industry Products is grateful to remain open and serve the needs of our community. For everyone’s safety you can now get your products via our new Trellising Takeout system, no need to get out of your vehicle.

See our website for more details or give us a call. As a community we can all do our part and weather this storm as we have weathered others – together.


CAWG’s Statewide Update: Protecting Employers from Lawsuits

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

CAWG logoCalifornia employers are routinely subject to lawsuits for minor labor law violations. These may be as insignificant as pay stub errors where the date is wrong. When an employer loses these suits, the employer is subject to huge penalties and must pay all attorney fees.

These suits occur under what is known as the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). In fiscal year 2012 – 2013, PAGA penalties were $4.5 million statewide. In 2018 – 2019, PAGA penalties ballooned to $40 million statewide.

Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) has authored a bill to help solve this problem. SB 1129 would allow an employer 65 days to correct unintentional minor violations without facing damages, attorney fees or penalties. Business organizations representing virtually every industry in California are lining up in support of this legislation.

If you have been a victim of these lawsuits, please contact Michael Miiller at the California Association of Winegrape Growers.


LCWC Grape Marketplace

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

  • 30 tons of 2020 Cabernet Franc, Red Hills AVA, Robertsbridge Vineyards. Contact Craig Shannon at 707-349-7892 or deerhntr1963@hotmail.com
  • 230 tons of 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Clear Lake AVA. Certified Sustainable. Contact Eric Seely at 707-349-6337 or ericseely1@gmail.com
  • 20 tons of 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Clear Lake AVA, Red Horse Ranch. Hand-picked, small lots available. Contact Ron Ryskalczyk at 707-295-6400 or ronryskalczyk@gmail.com
  • 16 – 20 tons of 2020 Riesling, Big Valley AVA. Certified Sustainable. Contact Rhonda Wallace at wildwestwinery@att.net
  • 300 tons of 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Clear Lake AVA. Certified Sustainable. Contact Eric Seely at 707-349-6337 or ericseely1@gmail.com


Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“The April through June seasonal forecast for the west coast is pointing to a cool and wet April, and then a warm and dry May and June. The overall outlook for the western US to likely end up slightly warmer than normal but staying drier than average…”

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

Calendar of Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Wildfire Crop Insurance Q&A 4:00 pm
Wildfire Crop Insurance Q&A
Sep 17 @ 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
LCWC is hosting a 30-minute webinar with Pan American Insurance exclusively for Lake County winegrape growers. Thursday, September 17, 2020: 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Register: http://bit.ly/lcwc-crop-ins-webinar The session will feature details on crop insurance[...]
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Skip to content