Press Release: Lake County Winegrape Commission Announces Launch of Lake County Pruning School by Simonit & Sirch

Lake County Pruning School logo, a program of Lake County Winegrowers

Simonit & Sirch logo

October 10th, 2022, Lake County, Calif.— The Lake County Winegrape Commission announces the launch of the inaugural Lake County Pruning School, which will be held beginning in December 2022 and presented in both English and Spanish. The first of its kind for a regional organization, the immersive training program will be delivered in collaboration with Simonit & Sirch, the renowned grapevine pruning school with more than 30 years of research and experience and a client list that includes some of the world’s preeminent vineyards such as those of Chateau d‘Yquem, Chateau Latour, Bellavista, Roederer, Chandon, and Hennessy in Europe, as well as Quintessa, Corison, Diamond Creek, Shafer Vineyards, Flowers, and Spottswoode in the United States.

Simonit & Sirch Master Pruner Jacopo Miolo will share knowledge about grapevine sap flow and teach innovative pruning techniques that foster grapevine health and resistance to pests and drought. This supports improved consistency of fruit over the years and, ultimately, a longer vineyard lifespan.

“This three-year project will further enhance the quality and reputation of Lake County winegrapes and demonstrates our growers’ commitment to sustainable viticultural practices,” says Jonathan Walters, Chair of the Lake County Winegrape Commission.

The Lake County Pruning School comprises a theoretical introductory online lesson and three days of practical hands-on lessons in the vineyard — two days during the winter for vine pruning and one day during the spring for shoot thinning. The program provides in-depth fundamental principles applicable to all grapevine training systems, such as controlled branching, vascular flow, cuts and crown buds, and protective spare wood.

“Lake County is the first region to host a collective project with Simonit & Sirch, addressing an entire region instead of a single property,” says Debra Sommerfield, President of the Lake County Winegrape Commission. “And by delivering Lake County Pruning School in both English and Spanish, we are able to meet the educational needs of all vineyard workers.”

Lake County Pruning School is designed for vineyard owners, vineyard supervisors and crew leaders, and experienced vineyard workers. Each class enables one-on-one learning and an opportunity to exchange ideas and techniques with others in the cohort.

“The Lake County Pruning school will provide an opportunity to learn specifically how the grapevine works and how to help the plant live longer and healthier,” Miolo says. “The school will also provide growers an opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge.”

Employers sending five or more employees can receive a 10 percent discount by using a special promo code during registration. Contact events@lakecountywinegrape.org for the code. Register now: https://www.lakecountywinegrape.org/news-events/events/lake-county-pruning-school/

Jacopo Miolo demonstrates pruning practices in the vineyard

Photo provided by Simonit & Sirch

About Lake County Winegrape Commission

Established in 1991, the Lake County Winegrape Commission has been instrumental in developing the Lake County region’s unwavering commitment to farming high-quality wine grapes, promoting the winegrowers’ brand, and creating greater awareness of the winegrowing region within the wine trade and among wine lovers. A state agency with efforts focused on marketing, research, and education, the Commission has launched innovative programs like Master Vigneron Academy®, the Elevation of Wine, and the International Sauvignon Blanc Symposium. For more information, visit www.lakecountywinegrape.org

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