September 2018 Newsletter

Lake County, LCWC September 2018 Newsletter, by Nathan DeHart

A Note from Commission President

In the immediate wake of the Mendocino Complex fires, the Commission focused on assisting Lake County winegrape growers in a range of areas. This included providing information and resources to growers directly impacted by the fires; hosting a grower seminar to address concerns about smoke exposure impacts; engaging a public relations firm to assist in communicating to the industry; facilitating roundtable discussions with industry experts; engaging a working group to share information; and initiating a research project to assist in the understanding of the effects of smoke from wildland fires. We invite all Lake County winegrape growers and vintners to assist in this collaborative research project by submitting their test results confidentially. For more information, read on…

Debra Sommerfield

In this Issue…

LCWC Collaborates on Research Project
Growers Gathered for Informative Session
Lake County Wines Poured at TEXSOM
Experience the Sauvignon Blanc Symposium Again
LCWC Board Members Seated for 2018 – 2019
Lake County Wines in the News
Affiliate Sponsor: VIP Introduces Night Harvester
Weather & Climate Report
Wine & Grape Marketplace

LCWC Collaborates on Research Project

The Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) has initiated a collaborative research project with key industry partners to further the understanding of effects of smoke from wildland fires on grapes and wines in an effort to provide actionable insights. This research project comprises regional sampling, data gathering, weather- and fire-related GIS modeling, and sensory analysis.

Project partners include Lake County Winegrape Commission, UC Davis, UC Cooperative Extension, ETS Laboratories, the Australian Wine Research Institute, Western Weather Group, Lake County Air Quality Management District, and individual winegrape growers and vintners.

Your Help Requested – Submit Your Test Results

Winegrape growers and vintners interested in assisting with this research project can submit sample results to LCWC by completing a form and submitting it along with a copy of the analysis from a certified lab.

For questions, contact LCWC President Debra Sommerfield at: (707) 279-2633

Wildland Fire and Vineyards Seminar, Lake County

Growers Gathered for Informative Session

On September 6, nearly 100 Lake County winegrape growers gathered at the Soper-Reese Theater in Lakeport for a seminar titled, “Wildland Fire & Vineyards: Assessing Viticultural, Legal, and Financial Implications,” presented by the Lake County Winegrape Commission.

The educational seminar featured expert speakers Eric Hervé from ETS Laboratories, Carol Kingery Ritter Esq. of Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty, and Kristine Fox of Pan American Insurance.

The technical talk focused on grape and wine testing protocols, thresholds, viticultural practices, and mitigation techniques and pointed to the need for continued research in the area of testing for smoke-related compounds. The contract session presented concepts for contract language and shared risk when dealing with smoke exposure. The crop insurance discussion addressed the importance of grower-initiated grape testing, early (pre-harvest) communication with insurance agent, and the need for documentation in the claims process.

Lake County Wines at TEXSOM August 2018

Lake County Wines Poured at TEXSOM

The Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) continued its outreach to sommeliers and educators by again sponsoring a tasting break during TEXSOM in Dallas in August.

Several Lake County wines were poured by two Lake County representatives: Eric Stine, Vice President of Winemaking for Foley Family Wines and Langtry Estate, and Megan Hoberg, LCWC Marketing & Events Coordinator. They shared information about the wines and engaged in conversation with sommeliers about the Lake County winegrowing region.

For more information, visit

Experience the Sauvignon Blanc Symposium Again

Did you miss the International Sauvignon Blanc Symposium on May 4? Would you like to review any of the presentations from that day?

Visit the Sauvignon Blanc Experience website to watch videos from the event, such as the opening presentation from Debra Parker Wong (below).

Deborah Parker Wong at Sauvignon Blanc Experience Lake County 2018
Deborah Parker Wong gave the keynote presentation at the Sauvignon Blanc Symposium

LCWC Board Members Seated for 2018 – 2019

John McCarthy LCWC Board Member
New LCWC Board Member
John McCarthy

Lake County Winegrape Commission Board of Directors for fiscal year 2018 – 2019 includes newly elected Board Member John McCarthy of Beckstoffer Vineyards X and three incumbents who were reelected: Bonnie Sears of Beckstoffer Vineyards XVI, Bill Oldham of Oldham Vineyards, and Broc Zoller of Zoller Vineyards. The other grower members of the eight-member Board include Keith Brandt of Bella Vista Farming, Bruce Merrilees of Shannon Stahl Vineyards, and David Weiss of David Weiss Vineyards, as well as a Board-appointed public member Pete Dodson of Savings Bank of Mendocino County.

Board Officers for this year are David Weiss as Chair, Broc Zoller as Vice Chair, and Bonnie Sears as Secretary-Treasurer.

We thank each of them for their dedication to serving our industry.

Lake County Wine in the News Banner

Lake County Wines in the News

Congratulations to these award-winning Lake County wines:

Aerena 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills): 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Enkidu 2015 Diener Ranch Petite Sirah (Red Hills): 94 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Hawk and Horse 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon: Best of Show/Double Gold, Wine & Spirits
Prima Materia 2017 Rose (Kelsey Bench): 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Shannon Ridge 2015 Buck Shack Red: 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Shannon Ridge 2016 SR Reserve Chardonnay (Red Hills): 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Sol Rouge 2014 Mourvedre (Red Hills): 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Sol Rouge 2014 Syrah (Red Hills): 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Steele Writer’s Block 2015 Syrah: 90 Points, Tasting Panel
Steele Shooting Star 2015 Zinfandel: 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast

Affiliate Sponsor

Vineyard Industry Products Introduces the Lazer Star Night Harvest LED Tower

VIP Lazer Star Night Harvest LED TowerMake your night harvesting more efficient and more affordable with the new Lazer Star Night Harvest LED Tower. The unique tower attaches to the category 2 three-point hitch on your tractor and connects to the stock electrical system. It runs off the stock alternator in most applications.

The light tower utilizes the LED lighting technology offering 560 total watts and 84,000 raw Lumen, with the ability to light up approximately five vineyard rows. The tower features height and width adjustability ranging from 10′ tall by 5’4″ wide while collapsed and 13’11” tall by 10′ wide at full expansion. Includes free-standing storage base, forklift pickup points and yellow powder-coat finish. Additional accessories include 30-watt LED driving and bin lights.

Production is limited for the 2018 harvest. To guarantee delivery, order soon by calling José or Michael @ 707.837.5410.

Weather Banner

Weather & Climate

“Compared to July, August temperatures moderated some ending up 1-2°F above average across many wine regions in the west. Areas in and around the Bay Area and the Northern California to Oregon coast continued to see average to slightly cooler than average conditions…”

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

Grape Marketplace banner

Grape & Wine Marketplace

For the full listing of Lake County grapes and bulk wine for sale, visit the Marketplace page.


    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays 4:00 pm
    Grower Conversation Series: Winegrape Wednesdays @ The Mercantile
    Jul 17 @ 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[...]
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