May 2024 Newsletter

Lake County Pruning School Shoot Thinning Class

In This Issue…

Master Vigneron Academy® Vineyard Tailgate, June 26
DEVO Visits Lake County
Lake County Press Lunch
Lake County Pruning School Wraps Up Year Two
Grower Spotlight: Dancing Crow Vineyards
REMINDER: UCCE Pear and Grape Field Day, May 28
Lake County Wines in the News
Grape & Wine Marketplace
Weather & Climate Report
Affiliate Sponsor: Vineyard Industry Products

REMINDER: Master Vigneron Academy® Vineyard Tailgate, June 26

Vineyard Tailgate Logo

Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management

In-the-Vineyard Tailgate Session for Spanish -Speaking Vineyard Workers

Instructor, Miguel Garcia, Sustainable Ag Program Manager, Napa Resource Conservation District, will teach how to…

  • Assess, restore, and maintain soil health
  • Implement sustainable farming practices
  • Develop irrigation management plans

Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: Thomas Mauritson Vineyards, 6153 Staheli Drive, Kelseyville

Please RSVP to by June 19 with name, email, and phone number for each attendee or supervisor.

Lunch will be provided.

English Flyer
Spanish Flyer

Master Vigneron Academy logo

LCWC Hosts Davis Enology & Viticulture Organization (DEVO)

LCWC had the pleasure of hosting the Davis Enology and Viticulture Organization (DEVO) on May 18. The morning began with a Lake County Pruning School demonstration, and Marco Simonit of Simonit & Sirch stopped by to visit with students!

The day continued with lunch at Beckstoffer Vineyards-Red Hills with Padraic Sherlock, a visit to Dancing Crow Vineyards with Scott Kirkpatrick of Dancing Crow and David and Will Weiss of Bella Visit Farming. The group then went to Castilleja Farms, where Joy and Bruce Merrilees hosted a tour and dinner.

DEVO group at Lake County Pruning School Castilleja Farms tour for DEVO David Weiss-Dancing Crow Vineyard Tour for DEVO


LCWC Hosts Press Lunch in San Francisco

Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson led a seminar on Lake County wines for a group of journalists on April 23. Six wine writers from the Bay Area attended the event, which allowed them to explore a diverse sampling of award-winning Lake County wines.

Wines at press lunch Press lunch at The Morris

Lake County Pruning School Wraps Up Year Two

Lake County Pruning School at Crimson Ridge

Lake County Pruning School (LCPS) students gathered for the shoot-thinning segment of the program taught by Simonit & Sirch from May 13 to May 16. Participants observed the effects of the winter pruning and learned how to manage spring shoot growth to promote better vegetative balance, improve quality, and reduce vine disease.

This session concludes year two of LCPS. If you are interested in attending year three, please contact to be placed on the waiting list. Dates for year three will be announced in the coming weeks.

Grower Spotlight: Dancing Crow Vineyards

Scott Kirkpatrick & Adam Forni, Dancing Crow Vineyards
Scott Kirkpatrick & Adam Forni, Dancing Crow Vineyards
Photo credit: Karen Pavone

The late afternoon sun dips low over Dancing Crow Vineyard on a beautiful spring evening as vineyard co-owner Adam Forni and winemaker Scott Kirkpatrick stroll the vines. Spring bud break is in progress, and their anticipation is palpable. It’s the excitement growers feel when they know they are onto something special.

Adam’s family story in Lake County wine cultivation began in 2006 when his stepfather, Tony Cartlidge, a 30-year veteran in the industry, decided to make a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from grapes grown in the fertile floor of the Big Valley appellation. That particular wine was so well-received that Tony later decided to purchase the property where he had procured those grapes. In 2013, Dancing Crow Vineyard was born—a family collaboration led by Tony, his wife Sarah Forni, and sons Adam (Forni) and Stefan (Cartlidge).

Initially, the family set out to produce a fresh, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc reminiscent of that standout wine Tony had first created from the vineyard’s grapes. That definitive offering remains the winery’s signature flagship wine today.

“My stepdad fell in love with the vineyard and the fruit,” says Adam. “His winemaker at the time, Paul Mosher, loved French wine—particularly Sancerre—and he thought it would be interesting to emulate that style using our grapes. So, we set out to do just that: make a Sancerre-style Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County. It was a BIG hit right off the bat, and that’s when we knew we had something. We feel Lake County is the best place for Sauvignon Blanc in the United States.”

Continue reading.

Barn with quilt square Adam and Scott in the vineyard

News from UCCE

REMINDER: UCCE Pear and Grape Field Day, May 28

UC Cooperative Extension Diversified Agriculture and Viticulture are collaborating to present the first UCCE Pear and Grape Field Day on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in Hopland.

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Rosetti Orchards, 14200 Old River Road, Hopland
11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Campovida Winery, 13601 Old River Road, Hopland

The event will focus on the intersection between pear and winegrape production in the North Coast. Presentation topics will include site monitoring, cover crops, common pathogens, pests, soil health, water use efficiency, and more.

Registration is open until Monday, May 27.

Learn more & register. 

In the News

Lake County Wine in the News Banner

6 vinos de California que ya deberías haber probado

Editor’s note: Full article was featured on

“The Brassfield Estate Eruption 2019 is a smooth, round wine with rich fruit aromas such as blackberry, Bing cherry, cedar, vanilla and caramel. Deep ruby in color with a lush mouthfeel and endless finish, this delicious wine leaves you wanting another glass. Excellent alone or perfect with grilled meats and barbecue. A blend of Malbec, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Zinfandel is a wine created with style and finesse using traditional artisanal techniques. Eruption’s components are cared for separately in small batches fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wines are then aged in French and American oak barrels (30% new) for 8 to 10 months before being blended and bottled without filtration.”

Read full article (Spanish).

California Dreaming: Top Bottles from the Golden State

Editor’s note: Full article was on Wine

Obsidian Wine Co. 2021 Volcanic Estate Obsidian Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon:

“This wine is deep purple with aromas of unripe blackberry, blueberry, olallieberry, fresh bay leaf, vanilla scented potpourri. The midpalate is black olive, green olive, rosemary, orange zest, transmitting into ripe black fruit, dried tobacco leaves and salted truffle chocolate.”

Read full article.

Congratulations to Obsidian Wine Co. on their new tasting room in Sonoma, which opened on May 23. Obsidian Wine Co. is known for their immersive Lake County experiences, which involve hiking, seaplanes, and other outdoor adventures, but their new facility will allow guests to visit the region virtually.

Volcanoes Inspired This Renegade Winery’s New Sonoma Tasting Room

Editor’s note: Full article was in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Inside, video footage from the vineyard is projected on the back wall. Molnar called it “a portal to nature” because it gives the illusion that you can walk right into it. In one video, visitors can see a bear taking a stroll; another features an oak tree, which Molnar claims is about 700 years old and one of the oldest in North America. “We’re trying to create the kind of vibe you get when you drive up to the vineyard with us,” Sueiro said. “It connects on a different level and we’re trying to replicate that here.”

Read full article (possible paywall).

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which received high scores at the North Coast Wine Challenge:

  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2021 Petit Verdot, Double Gold, 96 Points
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2022 Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold, 93 Points
  • Cache Creek Vineyards 2022 Sweet Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold, 91 Points
  • Clay Shannon 2023 Sauvignon Blanc, Gold, 91 Points
  • Engine House 2023 Sauvignon Blanc, Gold, 92 Points

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which Wine Enthusiast reviewed:

  • atLarge 2021 Amber Knolls Cabernet Sauvignon, (Red Hills Lake County), 90 Points
  • Clay Shannon 2022 El Coyote Chardonnay, 91 Points
  • Clay Shannon 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, 92 Points
  • Clay Shannon 2020 Junior Zinfandel, 91 Points
  • Clay Shannon 2021 The Barkley Cabernet Sauvignon, 92 Points
  • High Valley 2020 Zinfandel, 90 Points
  • Langtry 2022 Lillie’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Guenoc Valley), 92 Points
  • Langtry 2021 Rose, 90 Points
  • Ovis 2021 Chardonnay (High Valley), 94 Points
  • Ovis 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, 92 Points
  • Ovis 2019 Petit Sirah (High Valley), 93 Points
  • Ovis 2019 Petit Verdot (High Valley), 93 Points

SommCon Wine Competition

SommCon Competition

Registration is now open for SommCon’s wine and spirits competition series, “Concours,” presented in partnership with The SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel Magazine.

Early bird rate is available until June 13, 2024.

Enter now.

LCWC Grape Marketplace


In the market for bulk wine? Visit the Marketplace page of the LCWC website for an up-to-date list of Lake County bulk wine and grapes available for sale.

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

View May Report from Dr. Gregory Jones.

Affiliate Sponsor: Vineyard Industry Products

VIP trellising graphic


    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
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