Viticulture briefs: Mendocino County grape growers to hold webinar on drought

The speakers will address what grape growers can do to mitigate water shortages and how to put strategies in place to produce quality grapes.|

The Mendocino Winegrowers trade group will host a webinar from 10 a.m. to noon June 3 that will cover the effects of the drought on vineyards within the county.

The speakers will address what grape growers can do to mitigate water shortages and how to put strategies in place to produce quality grapes. The topics include water consumption by cover crops; how sap-flow sensors can be used to save water; and new products for water conservation and retention.

Supervisor Glenn McGourty, who served as the former UC Extension agriculture adviser for the county; Andy Walker, a professor at UC Davis’ enology and viticulture department; and Ryan Hills from Fruition Science will give presentations.

Registration is available at

Cuvaison to revamp tasting room

Cuvaison winery will soon break ground on a new visitor project at its facility in the Carneros region of Napa County.

The first phase will revamp the tasting room by adding a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass wall along with an expanded terrace. The next phase will be the construction of open-air pavilions for VIP tastings and special events that will be cantilevered above the south shore of the property’s pond. Construction should be completed by the summer of 2022.

“Breaking ground during a pandemic may seem like a bold decision, but based on conversations with customers and club members around the country, we believe that wine lovers are eager and excited to return to Napa Valley,” said Dan Zepponi, chief executive officer of Two Estates Wine Collective, which was formerly known as Cuvaison Estate Wines.

Schug produces white pinot noir

Schug Carneros Estate Winery in Sonoma has added a new wrinkle to its pinot noir lineup with a 2020 white pinot noir at $42 per bottle.

The fruit was harvested at the Ricci Vineyard in Carneros at night and then gently pressed without any skin contact to maintain the pale color. The winery touts that consumers should be able to pick up flavors of strawberries, rhubarb, and white peach. The bottling is the first new wine from Schug in a dozen years.

“We wanted to make something fun and a little bit different that you don’t see very often,” said winemaker Johannes Scheid in a statement. “It’s a great summer wine with a bit more texture and mid-palate weight than a rosé.”

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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