December  31, 2014
Vigilance red grapes by Casey Carney
2014 - A Year in Review
By Debra Sommerfield, LCWC President

As 2014 comes to a close, the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) is grateful for a year that saw growth and progress in our region's winegrape industry, and while concerns of a third year of drought conditions dominated much of the conversation, growers eagerly welcomed an early grape harvest and then celebrated as December ushered in much-needed rain.

A quick review of 2014...

LCWC kicked off the year by again pouring Lake County wines at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium's Regional Wine Tasting. We presented two informative Momentum seminars attended by many in our local wine industry, partnered with the Lake County Farm Bureau to present a timely drought workshop, partnered with UC Cooperative Extension, Mendocino College, and Lake County's Department of Agriculture to present the 17th annual Integrated Pest Management Seminar, and proudly delivered the Master Vigneron Academy to a third class of vineyard supervisors.

We presented our wine region to a group of sommeliers in San Francisco, engaged grape and wine buyers with an in-depth survey to examine demand for Lake County grapes and wines, surveyed Lake County winegrowers on vineyard water use and technology, and launched a brand new mobile-friendly web site for

With a focus closer to home, we hosted a presentation with lunch and wine tasting for California Women for Ag's 2014 AgVenture class and supported efforts of several organizations including the Lake County Winery Association, Lake County Wine Alliance, and Lake County Land Trust. We successfully concluded a two-year grant from CDFA, welcomed two new LCWC Board members, and celebrated the opening of LCWC's new office and meeting space in downtown Kelseyville.

At this time of year, we would like to thank our partners, sponsors, consultants, and vendors - and all who help us promote the Lake County winegrowing region.

Wishing you and yours a safe, peaceful, and prosperous 2015!

In This Issue

REMINDER: 2014 Harvest Reports and Assessment Payments Due January 10, 2015

The deadlines for submitting reports and remitting assessments to the Lake County Crush District 2 Winegrape Commission for the 2014 harvest season are as follows:

  • Reports and assessments for harvest 2014 winegrapes are due January 10, 2015.

  • Reports and assessments for sales of juice/bulk wine are due within 30 days after the sale.

Grape growers are required to submit the annual Winegrower Harvest Report, which provides vital vineyard and sales information that enables Commission staff to work on behalf of Lake County growers to collect assessments due from vintners/wineries.


Vintners/wineries are required to withhold the Commission assessment from amounts paid to growers and submit those assessment payments to the Commission. Growers are not required to remit the assessment unless the buyer (vintner/winery) refuses to do so.


The Lake County Crush District 2 assessment rate for the 2014 marketing season is one percent (1%) of the gross dollar value on the sale of District 2 winegrapes, juice, and bulk wine. These assessments fund the Commission's marketing, research, and education programs.


Note: All information provided to the Commission is kept strictly confidential.


2014 reporting forms are available for download here: 


For more information, please contact LCWC Office Manager Susan Peters at (707) 279-2633, ext. 301. 

CSWA to Host Sustainability Self-Assessment Workshop for Growers and Vintners February 25 in Lakeport

Lake County winegrape growers and vintners are invited to participate in a free workshop presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA).


The CSWA Sustainability Self-Assessment  Workshop is scheduled for February 25, 2015, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the computer room at the Mendocino College Lake Center. Lunch will be provided.


Growers and vintners will begin to assess the sustainability of their vineyards through an online assessment tool. The tool allows users to enter data, track progress, create reports, access educational content, and use existing action plan templates.


To register, go online to Participants will need user IDs and passwords prior to the workshop. For an ID and password, contact 

Commission Board Members Gather for

Annual Strategic Roundtable Discussion

Lake County Winegrape Commission Board Members wrapped up 2014

  Christian Miller of Full Glass Research explains one

  of his data charts.

with their annual strategic roundtable session on Tuesday, December 2.

Board Chair Peter Molnar and President Debra Sommerfield welcomed the Board and guests from the Lake County Winery Association, Executive Director Terry Dereniuk and Chairman Gregory Graham. They joined the Commission for a joint strategic roundtable.


The afternoon meeting included a detailed presentation about Lake

County's winegrape supply and demand by consultant Christian Miller of Full Glass Research. Miller provided extensive analysis of the region's varietals and projections for next year.


Read More

John Hyde of 26*Brix discusses the new LCWC web site.

New Employment Laws for 2015 

In its most recent newsletter, the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) provided information on three new state laws that take effect in 2015.


Two of the laws go into effect on January 1, 2015 - one increases the liability of employers who contract for labor, and the other requires training on the prevention of "abusive conduct." The third law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, requires employers to provide paid sick leave.


View CAWG's refresher on these new laws here: 

During Windy Conditions, Practice "Wires Down" Safety 

The much-needed rain we received the past few weeks has given way to cold and blustery weather, and with that comes the possibility of downed power lines.

Lake County's governmental representative with PG&E, Brian Bottari, has sent a timely reminder to review 'wires down' safety along with a link to useful information for growers to share with their vineyard crews:

Grower Spotlight: The Schlies Family

In 2006, Chris and Christine Schlies acquired nearly 30 acres of vineyard in Upper Lake, CA. The family has made a commitment to sustainable winegrape growing.  Read More


Chris Schlies in his Sandy Bend Vineyard, Upper Lake, CA.

California Wine Grape Growers Foundation Scholarships

The California Wine Grape Growers Foundation is offering scholarships to high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are employees of a California winegrape grower. Details and the application form are available on the Foundation's website,


For additional information, call the Foundation office at (916) 379-8999. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by March 27, 2015.  

Savings Bank logoAffiliate Sponsor:

Savings Bank

Submitted by Savings Bank


Savings Bank is proud to be an Affiliate Sponsor of the Lake County Winegrape Commission.


"As a local community bank, Savings Bank is well-positioned and deeply committed to playing a vital role in the success of the Lake County community," says Scott Yandell, Savings Bank President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our involvement in the Lake County Winegrape Commission's Master Vigneron Program is but one example of our commitment to helping all parts of the community thrive."


Read more

   Upcoming Events 

Lake County Winegrape Commission Board Meeting
January 13
LCWC Office, Kelseyville
Sustainability Self-Assessment Workshop
February 25
Mendocino College Lake Center, Lakeport
Presented by California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance 

Additional events can be found on the Commission's web site Calendar. Check out this month's happenings!
Affiliate Sponsors

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
Lincoln Leavitt logo
American AgCredit logo
Guillaume logo

Ranch winery logo

Peterson logo

Ag Unlimited Lyman logo
Westgate Petroleum logo



 Bellissimo logo