November 2019 Newsletter

People walking in Lake County vineyards in the fall 2019

A Note from Commission President

As crisp, clear autumn days have set in, Harvest 2019 is in our rear view, and Thanksgiving gatherings are ahead, Lake County Winegrape Growers would like to extend a note of gratitude to those who purchase Lake County grapes – winemakers, winery owners, grower relations and operations teams – to the many vendors and suppliers who assist at harvest and throughout the year, and to all Lake County residents for their patience amid weeks of harvest operations. Many thanks as we all enjoy the bounty of harvest!

Debra Sommerfield

In this Issue…

Post-Harvest Grower Tailgate Recap
Lake County Wines Poured in San Diego
CAWG Presents Crop Insurance Webinar Series
UCCE Lake & Mendocino IPM Seminar: December 13
Wine Competitions: Call for Entries
CAWG’s Statewide Update: Spotted Lanternfly
Congratulations to Obsidian Ridge
Lake County Wines in the News
Weather & Climate Report

Vineyard owners and others at a Lake County tailgate event

Post-Harvest Grower Tailgate Recap

On October 30, 2019, the Lake County Winegrape Commission hosted a tailgate session in the vineyard to learn about preparing for fall freezes, weed management techniques, soil health practices, and grapevine trunk diseases with a focus on techniques to deal with Esca in Sauvignon Blanc vineyards.

A big thank you to the following speakers:

  • Glenn McGourty, UC Viticulture Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension
  • John Roncoroni, UC Weed Science Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension
  • Kendra Baumgartner, PhD, Research Plant Pathologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Broc Zoller, PhD, President/Agricultural Advisor, The Pear Doctor
  • Britta Leigh Baskerville, Community Education Specialist – Healthy Soils Program, UC Cooperative Extension

For more information and to download resources, visit the LCWC website.

Person examining a winegrape leaf at a 2019 Lake County taillgate event

Several brands of Lake County wines on display at Sommcon wine-tasting event

Lake County Wines Poured in San Diego

The Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) continued its outreach to trade professionals and consumers by again sponsoring SommCon and the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival on November 15 and 16.

At the events, several Lake County wines were poured by four Lake County representatives: Bruce Merrilees (Castilleja Farms LLC and LCWC Vice Chair), Bill Oldham (Oldham Vineyards and LCWC Marketing Committee Chair), Mitch Sargent (Western Regional Sales Manager for Shannon Ridge Family of Wines), and Megan Hoberg (LCWC Marketing & Events Coordinator). They shared information about the wines and engaged in conversation with attendees about the Lake County winegrowing region.

For more information, visit and

3 representatives from Lake County at San Diego Bay Food + Wine event getting ready to pour wine

CAWG Presents Crop Insurance Webinar Series

Join CAWG and Pan American Insurance Agency for three upcoming webinars discussing the ins and outs of crop insurance. Crop Insurance 101 will discuss the basics of crop insurance. The following week, Crop Insurance 102 will discuss what is covered and what is not and answer specific questions about smoke-damaged fruit. Rounding out the series, Whole Farm Revenue Protection will help growers determine whether crop insurance is a good fit for their operation.

Click the webinar links below to register:

Wednesday, December 4, 10 AM – 11 AM: Crop Insurance 101

Wednesday, December 11, 10 AM – 11 AM: Crop Insurance 102

Wednesday, December 18, 10 AM – 11 AM: Whole Farm Revenue Protection

Calendar icon representing Crop 101Calendar icon representing Crop 102Calendar icon representing Whole Farm

UC ANR logo

UCCE Lake & Mendocino IPM Seminar: December 13

The 22nd annual Lake & Mendocino IPM Seminar takes place on Friday, December 13:

UC Hopland Research and Extension Center
Rod Shippey Hall
4070 University Road, Hopland

Friday, December 13, 2019
Doors open 7:30 am, Seminar starts at 8:00 am
Catered lunch is provided

Register at

Questions? Contact Tannis Boyd at the UCCE Mendocino Office:
707-463-4495 or

Wine Competitions: Call for Entries

Three widely respected wine competitions have issued a 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: Entry submission deadline has been extended to December 15, 2019. Learn more at

TEXSOM: Entry submission deadline: January 31, 2020. (Enter by December 31 for early entry rates.) Learn more at

Concours Mondial du Sauvginon Logo and Banner

Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2020: w/ special note about consolidation: Entry submission deadline: February 10, 2020. Learn more at

Please note: If you are interested in entering your Sauvignon Blanc wine at the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon, create your account and select “Ship to Brussels” to complete registration. Deborah Parker Wong will consolidate all samples for California producers and ship them to Brussels in January. Visit the registration page for more information.

Banner featuring Debra Parker Wong's photo + email address and instructions for contacting her for more information

CAWG’s Statewide Update: Spotted Lanternfly

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

CAWG logo

This week, the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board received an update on the spotted lanternfly. The pest is widespread in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. Specimens were also found in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Additionally, 11 dead spotted lanternflies were discovered during cargo inspections this year in three California airports. The flights were from Allentown, PA and the flies likely died in transit.

The pest feeds on 70 species of trees and several fruits including grapes. The Tree of Heaven is a common host making disturbed areas and transportation corridors (including rail yards) the frequent home for the spotted lanternfly. Ag areas having high suitability for the spotted lanternfly include the heartland from Kansas to Ohio and in coastal areas and central valley of California. Consequently, entomologists contend that the spotted lanternfly will eventually spread to California in the form of egg masses on rail cars or other forms of goods movement.

Growers may want to already be on the look out for the pest. The California Association of Winegrape Growers has information on its website providing research information about the spotted lanternfly and also providing Recommended Best Management Practices Preventing Spread of Spotted Lanternfly for the Wine and Vineyard Industry. The best management practices were developed by Penn State university.

Congratulations to Obsidian Ridge

Bottle of Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, Calif.In Wine Enthusiast‘s Top 100 Cellar Selections for 2019, Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon was selected as #42 on the list.

Obsidian Ridge 2016 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills)

A deep, dark color and generous black-fruit aromas lead to well-extracted flavors of blackberry, blueberry and black currant on the palate, while a thick blanket of fine-grained tannins wraps it all in. It is huge in structure but matched by luxurious, layered fruit and spice flavors. Best from 2023-2033.

See the complete list on the Wine Enthusiast website.

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

Congratulations to these Lake County wines, which Wine Enthusiast recently scored 90 points or better:

  • Obsidian Ridge 2016 Half Mile Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 95 Points (Cellar Selection)
  • Obsidian Ridge 2016 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 94 Points
  • Emerald Hare 2014 Cabernet Franc (Red Hills): 92 Points
  • High Valley Vineyard 2016 Home Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County): 90 Points

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“The cool September and October added little no heat accumulation and was one of the coolest endings to a vintage in roughly 30 years. The forecast through mid-month indicates the continued dominance of high pressure over the region that has brought clear skies, cold nights, foggy mornings, and air stagnation to many in the PNW…”

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


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