November 2, 2015
Harvest 2015
Harvesting at Dorn Vineyard on the slope of Mount Konocti in Kelseyville.
Photo by Nathan DeHart Photography
In This Issue
 A Note From the Commission President

In the wake of the Valley Fire, which devastated the communities of Middletown and Cobb in southern Lake County, we have seen an outpouring of support from our community and our neighboring wine regions. At its October meeting, Commission Board Members expressed their concern for the survivors of the fire and their gratitude for the generosity of businesses, individuals, and organizations who have stepped up to offer assistance. We plan to acknowledge the generous offers of those who have helped our community in further detail in a future newsletter. 

The Commission, Lake County Winery Association, and Lake County Wine Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, together established the #LakeCountyRising fundraising effort as a means to support long-term community rebuilding. For information, visit the Valley Fire Relief Fund page. Thank you for supporting this effort.

We also are grateful to District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown and Sheriff Brian Martin who recognized the impact of the road closures on the 2015 grape harvest and worked with our office to establish protocols to grant authorized workers access to vineyards for pre-harvest monitoring, and in turn, harvest operations. Workers returned, and harvest resumed within four days. Thank you, Supervisor Brown and Sheriff Martin!

Debra Sommerfeld
 Continuation Referendum Vote Set for November

The Lake County Crush District 2 Winegrape Commission's "continuation referendum" will be held this month. Balloting will be conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) between November 2, 2015, and December 1, 2015. CDFA will share voting results in mid-December. All eligible producers are encouraged to cast their votes.

Under California Winegrape Growers Commission Law, each commission in the state is required to hold a continuation referendum every five years. The referendum is a mandated vote of eligible growers to determine whether the Commission is authorized to continue its work for another five years.

The law defines an eligible grower as any person who produces and markets winegrapes in the District during the preceding marketing season (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015) in a quantity of more than 25 tons. Unless otherwise exempted, the definition also includes any landlord who receives winegrapes as payment for the use of his or her property in the production of winegrapes.
Ag Chemical Container Recycling Event to be Held Nov. 10
The Lake County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, in cooperation with Ag Unlimited & Interstate Ag Plastics, has scheduled the following collection event for Lake County.

Ag Chemical Container Recycling
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. 
Ag Unlimited, 3530 Finley East Road, Finley

To be accepted, containers must be triple rinsed and dry. The following items must be removed: caps, bungs, label booklets, plastic sleeves, bucket handles and lids. Also, 30- to 55-gallon containers must be cut into pieces. Containers not meeting the above requirements will be rejected. For more information, call (707) 263-0217.

Napa Valley Grapegrowers Announce 2015 Rootstock 

The Napa Valley Grapegrowers announces its 2015 ROOTSTOCK, a revolutionary symposium and exhibition designed to provide grapegrowers, vineyard and winery owners, and winemakers access to high-level, provocative seminars and industry experts, wine trials and tastings, networking opportunities, and an exclusive exhibition featuring more than 120 of the industry's highest quality viticulture and enology companies.

As a regional trade association, Napa Valley Grapegrowers is offering complimentary ROOTSTOCK Exhibition-Only tickets to Lake County growers and a 10 percent discount to attend the full-day seminar program on November 12, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Napa Exposition Fairgrounds. To register online, click here and use discount code: LCWC. 

For more information, please visit or contact the NVG office at or 707-944-8311.

Mendocino/Lake Integrated Pest Management Seminar Set

The 2015 UCCE Mendocino and Lake County IPM Seminar is slated for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. November 20 at Rod Shippey Hall, UC Hopland Research and Extension Center, 4070 University Rd, Hopland.

This event is sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension Mendocino and Lake County offices, Mendocino County Department of Agriculture, Lake County Winegrape Commission, Mendocino WineGrowers Inc. and the Mendocino College Agricultural Department.

Cost to register for this seminar is $35 if paid by November 13; $45 for late registrations. Credit card registration is preferred. Online registration closes at 5 p.m. November 8. Click here to register online. Payment by check, made out to UC REGENTS, is also accepted. Mail checks to UCCE, 890 N.B use St., Ukiah, CA 95482. Checks only will be accepted at the door. Registration fees cover cost of event and provides for lunch and break snacks. 

Speakers and topics will include Glenn McGourty, Update on Controlling Ice Nucleating Bacteria; Lucia Varela and Broc Zoller, Biology of Virginia Creeper Leaf Hopper in 2015 Season and Organic Pesticide Trial; Dr. Houston Wilson, Update on VCLH Bio Control; and Jim Xerogeanes, Controlling Wood Boring Insects in Wine Barrels. 

CAPCA Presents Professional Education Seminar

The California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) will present a 7-hour professional education seminar November 12 at the International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare. The program begins at 7:30 a.m.

Topics will include "Implications of Climate Changes for Pests and Pesticides," "Pollinator Protection," "Meeting Pest Control Challenges in the Next Decade - Integrating Experience, Research and Knowledge," and "Importance of Effective Irrigation During Drought." There will be updates on the Irrigated Lands Program and Continuing Education Requirements and Licensing Renewal.

Continuing education units are offered for certified crop advisers and licensed Department of Pesticide Professionals.

For additional program and registration information, click here.

Latino Farmer Conference Scheduled for November 3

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Growing Together: Latino Farmer Conference" is scheduled for November 3, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Radisson Conference Center in Fresno. 

Presented by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the conference is the first ever Hispanic/Latino farmer conference in California. The conference will be in Spanish with full English language translation.

For information, visit, or call Christine Chavez, (530) 792-5695 or Victor Hernandez, (530) 792-5628.

More Drought Resources Available

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) maintains a Drought Resources web page as a valuable tool for farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers seeking information about the drought in California and available assistance programs.

Links to the CDFA web page and many other drought-related resources are available on the Commission's Grower Resources page.

Affiliate Sponsor: Pan American Insurance 

Pan American Insurance, an Ascension Company, joins the list of Affiliate Sponsors for the Lake County Winegrape Commission in support of the county's winegrape growing business.

"We look at our involvement as a partnership to help grow the Commission and help grow our business," said Pan American Insurance Account Executive Ray Avila. "At the state level, we have been the endorsed insurance agency for the California Association of Winegrape Growers for over 15 years and have contributed more than $2 million to the association."

Avila said his company recognizes that this is a difficult time following the devastating losses due to the wildfires that hit the county this year. "Our prayers are with the people of Lake County, and if we can help in any way, we want to know."

Looking to reestablish its involvement in Lake County, Pan American Insurance connected with the Winegrape Commission in hopes of building good relationships with area growers and winery owners. Agribusiness is one of the many industries in which the insurance company specializes.

"We write all lines of insurance and have a great loss control team that is out in the field six days a week helping our clients," Avila said.

The company has been in business in California since 1946, offering a variety of insurance products and services, including workers' compensation, property and casualty, auto and liability. Additional services focus on supervisory and human resource training. A few of the programs available include driver safety, tractor safety, OSHA compliance, herbicide/pesticide handlers training, and forklift safety and certification. The company prides itself on having several loss control and claims management specialists, each with more than 10 years of experience.

For more information, visit For questions, contact Ray Avila at (209) 423-2251 or

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