March 26, 2014

Spring Bud Break                                                                       Photo by Casey Carney
A Note from the Commission President ...

Well, it's March, and an informal poll of growers across Lake County appellations indicate bud break has begun, and it's about 10 to 14 days early in many locations.


And, the numbers are in for Harvest 2013... According to the 2013 California Grape Crush Report, Lake County did well both in terms of grape production, with a 25 percent increase in tonnage from 2012, and an increase in average price per ton for our most widely planted varietals - Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Read on for details.


Our third Momentum! seminar was sold out and extremely well-received. Our keynote speaker Andy Beckstoffer gave a powerful and insightful presentation about where Lake County is as a viticultural region and what it will take to become 'wine country.' The session was recorded and will be available for viewing soon, so stay tuned for details...


Also, if you weren't able to attend the Lake County Farm Drought Response seminar on February 26, the video of that session is available online (see below for details) and features some valuable resource information.




In This Issue
Lake County
in the Media
Jim Clarke of the Grape Collective encourages readers to "Discover Lake County Again." Read his article and find additional news on the Winegrape Commission's web site.
On the radio ...
 "The Elixir of Lake County; The New Wine Country of Northern California" on The Taira St. John Show, KPFZ Radio 88.1 FM, Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00 pm, and replayed Mondays, 1:00-2:00 pm
Upcoming guest:
04-09-14 - Margaret Silveira, Lakeport City Manager 
Lake County 2013 Winegrape Harvest Record Figures Buck the State Trend
Harvest-ready at Obsidian Ridge by Debra Sommerfield Kelseyville, CA - Lake County's viticultural region experienced the greatest increase in harvested winegrapes in California last year when statewide totals showed another year of record harvested tons for grapes, according to the 2013 California Grape Crush Report recently released by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Lake County's harvest numbers were up 25.3 percent to 43,619 total winegrape tons for 2013, according to the CDFA report, nearly 9,000 tons more than the harvested amount for 2012 (34,816 tons reported).

Farmers Gather to Discuss Drought Conditions 
In response to the statewide and local drought situation, the Lake County Winegrape Commission and Lake County Farm Bureau recently collaborated to present "Lake County Farm Drought Response," a forum for the exchange of drought-related information.

Lake County Featured in April Issue of Sunset

Sunset Magazine's Wine Editor Sara Schneider toured Lake County with us last spring and recently penned, "A Perfect Day in Lake County, CA: A flight of young tasting rooms makes this unsung lake region the next great Northern California wine destination." Don't miss this lovely piece, which appears in the Northern California editions of the April 2014 issue.

Reminder: 2014 LCWC Elections - Ballots Due April 4

Lake County Winegrape Commission Board Member Elections are underway. All eligible winegrowers (those who produced more than 25 tons of winegrapes in the 2012 harvest) were sent ballots. Ballots must be returned to the third-party auditing firm of Pehling & Pehling, CPAs, 2888 Marina View Dr., Kelseyville, CA 95451, with a postmark date of no later than April 4, 2014.

Photo Shoot - Calling All Lake County-Appellated Wines
LCWC is working with a photographer, Kurt-Inge Eklund, who is producing a photographic book about the Lake County wine region with stunning images that show all aspects of our industry here. One of the images he will shoot is a panoramic image of Lake County wines - a picture of the bottles lined up side-by-side to show the breadth of wines from our region.


If you have not yet done so, please bring one bottle of each of the Lake County-appellated wines from your vineyard (and/or any other Lake County-appellated wines you may be involved with) for the shoot.


Deadline: Thursday, March 27

Drop-off hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm


Note: The bottles will not be opened and can be picked up after the shoot if you so choose.
Call for Entries: The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge
 Vintners, enter your best wines in the second Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge.

April 10 is the deadline for all entries; judging scheduled for April 29-30. Register online here. For additional information, visit the challenge web site:
North Bay Business Wine Conference - Discount Offered

Lake County winegrape growers are invited to attend this year's North Bay Business Journal's Wine Industry Conference at a discounted price. The event is selling out fast, according to organizers.  


Tickets are normally $95, but Lake County growers have an opportunity to purchase tickets for $85 each. RSVP to Linda Perkins at 707-521-5264 or [email protected] no later than April 15.   


The conference is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Sonoma County, Santa Rosa. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., and the program is from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. 


Keynote speaker is Rick Magnuson, executive managing director of GI Partners and owner of Duckhorn Wine Co. Panelists are to include Erle Martin of Crimson Wine Group, Phil Hurst of Truett Hurst Inc., Matt Wood of Domain Chandon, and Tom Bonomi of Price Family Vineyards. 


For more information, visit

WANTED: Used Grape-Picking Tubs

Suchan Nursery in Upper Lake is in need of several hundred grape-picking tubs, which Suchan uses to store sprouted seeds for its walnut nursery. It is looking for the older heavier tubs, which hold up well in cold storage unlike the newer, lighter versions. If you have a supply of older tubs that you are no longer using and are willing to sell, or if you have some that you would be willing to loan (the nursery will need to drill a hole in the bottom), please call Mary O'Meara at (707) 275-2461.

We've Moved - Next Door! 


The Commission office is now located at 3865 Main Street, Kelseyville, CA 95451. Staff, Board members, and volunteers completed the move at the end of February. The new space offers an opportunity to host educational sessions, technical tastings, and other events, in addition to day-to-day office space.


A Springtime Open House is in the works. Date to be announced soon.


The Commission's phone number remains the same: (707) 279-2633

Upcoming Events
Lake County Winegrape Commission events can be found on the Commission's web site Calendar. Check out this month's happenings!

Executive Committee Meeting
April 1
Lake County Winegrape Commission office, Kelseyville  

Research & Education Committee Meeting
April 2
Lake County Winegrape Commission office, Kelseyville

"Living with Drought"- A one-stop resource compiled by UC Cooperative Extension with links to several UC, state, and national resources.   


The Lake County Winegrape Commission's Drought Resource Web Page:  

Affiliate Sponsors
Vintage Nurseries logo
Umpqua logo
Allied Grape Grower logo
North Coast Vineyard Services logo

Bob Bartley Pump logo

PG&E logo

Ag Unlimited logo

Novavine logo
Savings Bank logo
Ranch Systems logo
Lincoln Leavitt logo
American AgCredit logo
Guillaume logo

Ranch winery logo

Peterson logo

Ag Unlimited Lyman logo
Westgate Petroleum logo
Turrentine logo

Bellissimo logo  

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest