Magazine editor praises Lake County wines

           "Lake County has its plusses. Yet it has never gotten its due as a winegrowing area, even as its wines keep improving," writes Wine Spectator Senior Editor James Laube in the latest edition of the magazine. But with laudations such as Laube's, Lake County may be well on its way to getting "its due."

           Lake County winegrape growers will be pleased to know this is not the first such accolades from the senior editor of the major wine industry publication.

           In a February blog the Napa-based journalist wrote, "The cost of land and grapes in Napa has escalated and winegrowers are paying greater attention to the vineyards. That's a recipe for lower-priced wines-what the market is currently craving-that Lake County is poised to take advantage of." 

           He concluded his blog by noting, "Even as appellations such as Red Hills gain notoriety, many Lake County grapes end up in North Coast appellation blends, either with Napa, or Sonoma or Mendocino. Even in our database, Mendocino and Lake counties are lumped together. It may be time to remedy that."

           In his latest article, published in the now-available June 15 edition, Laube gives high praise to the Cabernets produced in the Red Hills Appellation and notes some of the reasons Lake County is succeeding in making high quality wines at a fraction of the cost of the best wines of Napa.

           "The land is ideal for wine grapes and far more affordable than Napa," he states. He also points out the appeal of Lake County's vintages. "Lake County wines are typically softer, fruitier and less opulent than those from Napa or Sonoma, which are distinguishing features," writes Laube, who has overseen the magazine's coverage of California wine for approximately 15 years. Having made California wine his area of expertise, he professes to tasting about 100 different California wines a week.

           Even as Laube compares Lake County's fruit and wine to that grown and produced in Napa and Sonoma, he admits the "inevitable comparison to Napa" is part of Lake County's problem in garnering a name for itself.

           No matter, says Lake County Winegrape Commission President Shannon Gunier. "If writing about the comparison is one way of bringing attention to Lake County wine and eventually helping us with recognition, we'll take it. Our winegrapes are the reason for the high quality, fine wines coming out of Lake County, and we want everyone to know it."

With a readership of more than 2.5 million. Wine Spectator, is known for its in-depth wine tasting reports and travel fine dining features. It is published 15 times per year. For more information about the magazine's features, articles and writers, visit the website,