November 30, 2016 Newsletter


A Note from Commission President

As fall gives way to winter weather and the harvest push is past, a spirit of thanks is extended from Lake County Winegrape Growers to those who buy Lake County grapes – the winemakers and winery owners, the grower relations teams, and the finance and operations teams – to the many vendors and suppliers who assist with equipment and expertise at harvest and throughout the year, and to local residents for their patience during the weeks of vineyard harvest operations. Many thanks for your support as we conclude a stellar 2016 harvest!

Debra Sommerfield

From left to right: LCWC Vice Chair Broc Zoller; LCWC’s Past Research and Education Committee ChairRandy Krag; MVA 2016 Graduates: Jorge Calvillo, Jaime Chávez, José Luis Macías, Jesús García, Lupe Pérez, Humberto Gutiérrez, Juan Sanchez, Ignacio Gutiérrez, Daniel Ramírez, Jesús Jiménez, Julio González; and LCWC Education Programs Director Paul Zellman.

Congratulations to the Master Vigneron Academy Class of 2016

On November 5, the Lake County Winegrape Commission celebrated the latest graduating class from the Master Vigneron Academy.

The class of 2016 included José Ávalos (Langtry Farms), Jorge Calvillo (Rogers Vineyards), Jaime Chávez (JAC Ag Services), Jesús García (JAC Ag Services), Julio González (L & L Vineyards), Humberto Gutiérrez (Trinchero Family Estates), Ignacio Gutiérrez (Adobe Creek Packing), Jesús Jiménez (Bella Vista Farming), José Luis Macías (Beckstoffer, Red Hills), Lupe Pérez (Beckstoffer, Red Hills), Daniel Ramírez (Shannon Ranches), Juan Sánchez (Bella Vista Farming).

Established by LCWC in 2012, the Master Vigneron Academy (MVA) is a professional workforce development program designed for experienced vineyard supervisors and foremen. It serves the economic interests of families, the wine industry, and the Lake County community.

The first of its kind anywhere, the MVA program was created by the Lake County Winegrape Commission to cultivate a workforce of highly skilled and knowledgeable supervisors. The program offers a model for developing an industry-wide standard by which a supervisor’s knowledge and achievement are formally recognized.

Learn more about this innovative program.

View a complete list of graduates from 2012 to 2016.


Farm (and Vineyard) to Table in Lake County to be held on December 1

Robert BathMaster Sommelier Robert Bath, MS, CHE, is the third and final speaker in the Distinguished Speaker Series, presented by the Friends of Marymount California University (MCU) Lakeside Campus. In a program sponsored by the Lake County Winegrape Commission, Mr. Bath will discuss local foods paired with Lake County wines. Mr. Bath is Professor of Wine and Beverage Studies at the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley, and a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Location: Lakeside Campus, 3700 Country Club Drive, Lucerne

Download the flier.


WIN Expo: December 1

Lake County Wine Growers are invited to attend the WIN Expo and receive free access to the trade show floor using a special promotional code: LCWG2016. A Harvest Special discount on educational sessions is available through October 31st. To register for WIN Expo, visit For more information on the Wine Industry Network visit:

Redwood Valley Cellars Provides Custom Crush and More

As a winemaker at Redwood Valley Cellars, Owen Smith has seen it all– different winemaking styles, diverse fruit, representing virtually every region in California. Smith loves the challenge: clients are constantly bringing new ideas and methods into his winemaking repertoire.

“I have had customers come in and want to use a particular product or process that I haven’t tried before. It’s a chance to explore new ideas and see them in action,” he says. “Some growers know exactly what they want, so we work with them to achieve their goals. And for growers without a specific stylistic goal, we can help them to produce the best possible wine.”

For growers in Lake County, Redwood Valley Cellars is the closest, large-scale custom crush facility, according to Smith. In 2016, it was named one of the top 10 custom crush facilities in the north bay by North Bay Business Journal… Read more.

Harvest Celebration Brings Together Buyers and Sellers, Commemorates Anniversary

On October 29, Lake County Winegrape Growers invited buyers, sponsors, and VIPs to a harvest celebration at the beautiful Boatique Winery in the Red Hills AVA. The event featured a sampling of Lake County wines with light appetizers and dinner prepared by Chic Le Chef and music by the David Neft Duo. The event offered an opportunity for winegrape buyers in North California to taste recent releases from Lake County winemakers and meet some of the growers in the region.

Congressman Mike Thompson presented LCWC Chair Jonathan Walters with a certificate recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Lake County Winegrape Commission.

Current and past LCWC Board members gathered to accept the Congressional Resolution recognizing the Commission’s work over the past 25 years. Pictured left to right: Keith Brandt, Eric Seely (past Chair), Bill Brunetti, Bonnie Sears, Jonathan Walters (Chair), U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Bruce Merrilees, Peter Molnar (past Chair), Broc Zoller, Bill Oldham, David Weiss, Pedro Rubio.

Reminder: Crop Insurance Deadline

If you’re considering crop insurance for the upcoming 2017 crop year, remember that crop insurance policies MUST BE SIGNED no later than January 31, 2017. Contact your insurance provider for details.

Calendar of Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit West 2:00 pm
U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit West @ Sonoma County, CA
Jun 6 @ 2:00 pm – Jun 7 @ 3:00 pm
Who: A gathering of regional winery and vineyard associations, engaged grower and vintner leaders, and others committed to the sustainability of their local vineyards, wineries and regions. What: Learn some of the driving forces behind consumers’ and[...]
Implementing Sustainable Farming Practices: Water and Pest Management 8:30 am
Implementing Sustainable Farming Practices: Water and Pest Management
Jun 13 @ 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Special Targeted Education Event for Growers sponsored by: California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance & Lake County Winegrape Commission Welcome, Debra Sommerfield, Lake County Winegrape Commission & Clint Nelson, Vineyard Manager, Beckstoffer Vineyards – Red Hills Increasing Performance[...]
AgVenture Lite: What we know about Clear Lake 5:30 pm
AgVenture Lite: What we know about Clear Lake @ Soper Reese Community Theatre
Jun 13 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
The Lake County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture and Lake County Winegrape Growers present AgVenture Lite: What we know about Clear Lake Clear Lake is thought to be over 450,000 years old making it[...]
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 2:30 pm
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Jun 18 @ 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee, June 18, 2019
LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Board Meeting @ LCWC Office
Jun 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, June 18, 2019
Master Vigneron Academy®
Master Vigneron Academy®
Jun 19 all-day
Session #6 Lake County vineyards