November 30, 2015
Giving Thanks...
Vineyard Industry Products generously reached out with a donation of straw wattle 
to assist winegrowers affected by the Valley Fire. 
Photo by Carolyn Marchetti
In This Issue
A Note from Commission President

On the heels of the Thanksgiving weekend and in a spirit of gratitude, please join me in thanking those throughout our winegrowing region and beyond who have generously donated to support the survivors of the devastating Valley Fire, which ravaged southern Lake County in mid-September.

So many have made donations, held charity events, volunteered their time and contributed their talent to assist. Please read on for a few inspiring examples...

Debra Sommerfeld
TerrAvion Pilots Bob Westbrook and Brandon Udelhofen prepare to take off from Lampson Field in Lakeport to conduct aerial imaging of vineyards in southern Lake County that were damaged by the Valley Fire.
Photo by Nathan De Hart

TerrAvion Provides Aerial Imaging to Help Vineyard Owners Assess Fire Damage
The Valley Fire, which swept through south Lake County in September, left devastation in its path. While most vineyards suffered little or no damage - and in some cases even acted as a firebreak that helped to slow the fire's spread - a handful of vineyards in southern Lake County were affected. Those vineyard owners were faced with having to assess vine damage across acres of vineyard rows and blocks.
TerrAvion quickly reached out to offer assistance to impacted vineyard owners by providing cutting-edge aerial imagery of their vineyards to help them efficiently gauge the scope of the fire damage.

Reminder: Continuation Referendum This Month

The Lake County Crush District 2 Winegrape Commission's "continuation referendum" is underway with balloting being conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) from November 2 through December 1, 2015. CDFA will provide 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.
Free Admission: North Coast Wine Industry Expo Floor
Lake County winegrape growers are invited to attend the Fourth Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo Trade Show and Conference being held on December 3 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa RosaThe event features educational conference sessions, as well as a trade show with 300 wine industry exhibitors. 

Admission to the trade show floor is free for Lake County winegrape growers who register online and use the promo code LAKE2015. Otherwise, trade show admission prices are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Conference sessions are $75 per session or discounted $50 for an "All Conference Pass."

For more information, visit the Expo web site.
Lake County Economic Outlook and Forecast: December 9

Community members interested in the economic resilience and success of Lake County are encouraged to attend the "Economic Outlook and Forecast" being held on December 9, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Twin Pine Event Center in Middletown.

The keynote speaker is Robert Eyler, PhD, Professor of Economics at Sonoma State University. Dignitaries from county, state, and federal organizations also will be present.

Two ways to register:

1. Mail a check for $10 made payable to the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 295, Lakeport, CA 95453, Attn: Economic Outlook. Please memo the check "Economic Outlook."

2. Register online at Eventbrite using a credit card (note: there is a small fee of $1.54 per online registration).

For more information, contact Monica Rosenthal, (707) 355-2762, or the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, (707) 263-5092.

VIP delivers rolls of straw wattles to provide erosion control 
for fire-damaged vineyards in southern Lake County
Photo by Carolyn Marchetti
Affiliate Sponsor VIP Responds to Valley Fire 
in Support of Lake County Winegrowers

Vineyard Industry Products (VIP), an affiliate sponsor of the Lake County Winegrape Commission, stepped up to assist grape growers who were impacted by the Valley Fire in southern Lake County in September. 

VIP donated much-needed straw wattle to several winegrowers, providing them with material to help with erosion control following the damage caused by the fire. VIP generously donated 24 pallets of straw wattle, totaling 288 wattles with each roll measuring 25 feet long.

"The team at Vineyard Industry Products reached out to us right after the fire started to ask how they could help Lake County's vineyard owners," said Winegrape Commission President Debra Sommerfield. "We really appreciate the support and incredible generosity of VIP and so many others across our industry."

VIP President Sunni Ashley said, "We believe in supporting those organizations that support our growers. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the Lake County winegrape community -- producers of quality grapes for decades."

VIP has served the vineyard industry since 1979 when then-owners Paul and Laraine Downer started the business out of their home in Santa Rosa. "The company had six phone lines coming into the house and stored its inventory at the Shone farm," Ashley said.  

Ashley and John Downer, Paul's son, officially took over operations in 2000, and the company has since grown to three California locations in Windsor, Los Alamos, and Paso Robles.

"We are committed to providing the winegrape industry with quality products at the best possible prices," said Joel Castaneda, VIP Division Manager and Purchasing Agent. "We have a long-standing reputation for excellent customer service, on-time deliveries, and staying true to our word." 

Ashley noted that VIP staff keeps attuned to laws and technologies affecting grape growing and watches for new products to help growers stay compliant and "make their lives easier."

VIP carries a complete line of vineyard trellis systems and supplies such as highway stakes, T-posts, wire, clips, anchors, grow tubes, milk cartons, bird netting, pruning supplies, and night lighting supplies. Among the products available is VIP's patented J-R Clip® (Pat #5501035 & #5916028), one of the innovative, cost-effective solutions VIP developed over the years.

VIP Sales Representative Jose Avila spends much of his time in Lake County and is available to assist growers. Avila may be reached at (707) 540-3575, javila(at)vinbiz(dot)com. For quotes or information, contact Michael Owens at the Windsor location, (707) 837-5410, 

For more information, visit the VIP web site.
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