November 2018 Newsletter

November 2018 LCWC Grower eNews banner, vineyard workers carrying bins of grapes

In this Issue…

Congratulations to the MVA Class of 2018
Update: Two Proposed AVAs in Lake County
AVA Profile: Kelsey Bench
WIN Expo Trade Show and Conference Expands
Western IPM Center Latest Newsletter Released
Reminder: Wine Competitions Call for Entries
Lake County Wines in the News
Weather & Climate Report

Congratulations to the Master Vigneron Academy® Class of 2018

On November 3, the Master Vigneron Academy® (MVA) graduated its seventh class, awarding 12 students with the credential of Master VigneronCM. To date, 73 vineyard managers and supervisors have completed the year-long Spanish-language program, gaining insight into many aspects of the wine industry and bringing valuable skills back to their employers.

Master Vigneron Academy Class of 2018, Lake County, by Nathan DeHart
From left to right: Broc Zoller (LCWC Vice Chair); Master Vigneron Class: Miguel Valdovinos, Martín Mendez Torres, Lazaro Torres, Luís Alvarado, José de Jesús Santos, Tania Ayala, Carmen Paredes, Octavio Hernández, Manuel Vega Cervantes, Matilde Vega, Servando Flores, Gerardo Rodríguez Amaral; Randy Krag (Former LCWC Research & Education Chair), Paul Zellman (LCWC Educational Programs Director). Click to view larger image.

The Master Vigneron Academy is the first of its kind anywhere. Created in 2012 by the Lake County Winegrape Commission, the MVA program remains ahead of the curve in recognizing that the key to quality winegrapes and sustainable practices is the professionalism of those in the vineyard. Learn more about the Master Vigneron Academy.

Update: Two Proposed AVAs in Lake County

Lake County has two proposed American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the TTB approval process. Upper Lake Valley and Long Valley – Lake County have both been accepted as perfected petitions, meaning that both of them meet the requirements under the Code of Federal Regulations.

The Long Valley – Lake County petition includes a request to revise the northeastern boundary line for High Valley AVA (adding 1,542 acres) and the eastern boundary line for the North Coast AVA (adding 23,690 acres).

The next step will be the publishing of a proposed ruling with a period for public comment. Depending on the comments received, TTB can take several actions, from asking for more information to approving the AVA and issuing a final ruling. This process may take two years or more.

In the meantime, wineries may not use the AVA names on their labels, and all references to the new areas should be prefaced with the word, “proposed.” To view the petitions that are awaiting action, visit the TTB website.

AVA Profile: Kelsey Bench

The Kelsey Bench AVA derives its name from the nearby town of Kelseyville, which was established in the 1850s. Some of the oldest vines in Lake County are planted here.

The bench lands and terraces of Kelsey Bench rise above the town of Kelseyville to the south toward the Mayacamas Mountains and Red Hills. The climate in the area is generally warmer than that of Big Valley and cooler than Red Hills. Most of the vineyards are planted above 1,400 feet elevation, on the generally level areas around Bell Hill, Plunkett Lane, and Gold Dust. Most vineyards are planted on well-drained, alluvial Forbesville Loam. Read more

Video for Kelsey Bench AVA, Lake County, Calif.

North Coast Wine Industry Expo Trade Show and Conference Expands

WIN EXPO 2018 logo

The 7th Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo), the second largest wine industry trade show in North America, is scheduled to take place at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Santa Rosa, CA, on Thursday, December 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The event has expanded the conference portion of its program to address the increasing complexity of issues facing the wine industry and reinforcing Wine Industry Network’s commitment to provide exceptional learning opportunities for wine industry professionals.

This year’s conference is organized into three main tracks: Winemaking, Wine Sales & Marketing, and Wine Business Strategy & Leadership. All three tracks feature four interactive sessions that will facilitate greater subject emersion into topics such as “State of the North Coast Wine Industry,” an interactive roundtable discussion on where we are today what trends the industry can expect in 2019, and “Harvest Recap and 2019 Grape and Bulk Wine Forecast,” which will present a comprehensive review of the 2018 harvest, the effects from fires, and the current state of the market.

WIN Expo continues to be the best regional buying show of the year and will include nearly 300 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and services available and offering Expo Deals (#ExpoDeals), where they will provide attendees with one-day, end-of-year specials.

Lake County Winegrape Commission members will receive 20% off any conference or tradeshow pass by using the code: LCWC2018

To see the full list of this year’s conference topics, expert speakers, exhibitors and registration information, please visit:

Western IPM Center Latest Newsletter Released

The Western IPM Center logo

The Western IPM Center has just released its latest newsletter.

Sign up to stay up-to-date on a range of pest management topics. The November newsletter features articles about Western IPM Center grants, the national IPM roadmap, opportunities for students, upcoming meetings and conferences, and more. Subscribe here

Reminder: Wine Competitions Call for Entries

Two widely respected wine competitions have issues their annual call for entries. Consider submitting wines to help promote Lake County as a source of high-quality winegrapes and award-winning wines.

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition: Wine submission deadline: December 20, 2018. Learn more at

TEXSOM: Wine submission deadline: January 31, 2019. (Enter by December 31 for early entry rates.) Start here:

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

Lake County Wines in the News

Mike Dunne Highlights Steele Cabernet Franc

In a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, popular wine writer Mike Dunne recommends a Lake County wine from a varietal more commonly associated with Bordeaux and the Loire Valley:

“California’s Lake County is recognized largely for cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc and petite sirah, but keep an eye out for cabernet franc from the area, in particular the Steele Wines 2015 Lake County Cabernet Franc ($19). It’s a great buy, running to the cherry/berry side of the varietal more than the herbal, with a beckoning floral aroma, a compelling thread of licorice, and the kind of frisky acidity to make it versatile at the table.”

Read full article, “Don’t forget the wine when planning year-end festivities.

High-Scoring Wines from Lake

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

    • Persona Non Grata 2015 Red Blend: 90 points
    • Prima Materia 2014 Aglianico (Kelsey Bench): 92 Points
    • Shannon Ridge 2016 High Elevation Petite Sirah: 92 points
    • Two Angels 2016 Petite Sirah (Red Hills): 92 Points

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“Overall a very nice October was had by the majority of the western US. A dominant ridge of high pressure brought a nearly three week stretch of moderately warm and dry conditions that allowed for a relaxed end to the vintage…”

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


    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
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management 7:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
    Jun 26 @ 7:30 am – 11:30 am
    Soil Health and Irrigation Water Management @ Thomas Mauritson Vineyards
    In-the-Vineyard Tailgate Session for Spanish -Speaking Vineyard Workers LEARN HOW TO… Assess, restore, and maintain soil health Implement sustainable farming practices Develop irrigation management plans Event Details Wednesday, June 26, 2024 7:30 a.m. – 11:30[...]
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays 4:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    Jun 26 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    You are invited to attend the Grower Conversation series hosted by Lake County Winegrowers. This series aims to connect growers, buyers, and industry experts to discuss the climate of today’s market. Each conversation will feature[...]
        Skip to content