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Sustainable Winegrowing with Vineyard Team


Get the latest science and research for the wine industry with Sustainable Wine Growing. Vineyard Team brings you industry professionals and experts on resource issues and business trends related to sustainable agriculture to help you put sustainability into practice.

Get the latest science and research for the wine industry with Sustainable Wine Growing. Vineyard Team brings you industry professionals and experts on resource issues and business trends related to sustainable agriculture to help you put sustainability into practice.


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Get the latest science and research for the wine industry with Sustainable Wine Growing. Vineyard Team brings you industry professionals and experts on resource issues and business trends related to sustainable agriculture to help you put sustainability into practice.




92: Regenerative Agriculture

David R. Montgomery defines regenerative agriculture as leaving the land better off and more fertile as a consequence of cultivation. David studied geology at Stanford University before earning his Ph.D. in geomorphology at UC Berkeley. Today he teaches at the University of Washington where he studies the evolution of topography and how geological processes shape landscapes and influence ecological systems. In this research, he has defined three principals to build soil fertility; minimal...


91: Carbon Sequestration

Dr. Charlotte Decock, Assistant Professor Cal Poly - Earth & Soil Sciences talks about soil management with the goal of capturing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and sequestering them in the soil. Her teaching and research focus on sustainable fertilizer and soil management in California’s specialty crops. This podcast is a recording from a workshop we co-costed on soil health. As part of California Climate Investments, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA)...


90: Nematode Management for Washington Grapes

Some 25 to 30 percent of vineyards in Washington state have nematode population densities that are considered damaging. Nematodes have a slow, chronic negative impact on vine health. Plants have less foliage and visible weak spots in the field. Inga Zasada, Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service is particularly interested in nematode management because Washington is mostly own rooted vines. These vines are highly susceptible to nematodes and farmers need to...


89: New Pierce’s Disease Vaccine

Pierce’s Disease is caused by bacteria spread by xylem sucking insects. The bacteria move quickly throughout the vine causing disease which blocks the flow of liquid through the plant. Symptoms of leaf scorching – leaves that are curled and dried up on the edges - show up mid-summer. This pathogen is successful because plant does not recognize that it is there and does not mount a good defense. Steven Lindow, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California Berkley is a plant...


88: Making Better Soils with Novihum

50-million-year-old reserves of humified organic matter are a substance called lignite. It is commonly known as brown or soft coal, a substance usually equated with energy production. Researchers at the Technical University of Dresden have found that this very old, carbon rich plant material has the same building blocks as humus – the organic matter reserves found in soil. Virginia Corless, Chief Growth Officer at Novihum Technologies, explains how reacting lignite with nitrogen has created...


87: Developing New Winegrape Varieties

Bruce Reisch Professor of Grapevine Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, specialized in the development of new wine and table grape varieties, as well as new grape breeding techniques. New winegrape varieties need a market niche whether that be versatility, sustainability, disease resistance, climate resilience, or productivity. These traits are achieved with hybrids. Of the more than 60 grape species available, most of the grapes we are familiar with come from European vitis...


86: Wine Production During COVID-19

While wineries can maintain business operations during COVID-19, day to day operations look much different than they did the first few months of 2020. Hear how three wineries are adapting to their new way of doing business. Nathan Carlson, General Manager and Winemaker of Center of Effort Wines shares how they are discovering opportunities and better way to do business from saving on travel with telecommuting distributor presentation to connecting face to face with club members across the...


85: It‘s Time for New Wine Sales Strategies

Paul Mabray, CEO of Emetry is helping wine brands make more effective sales and marketing decisions with data. He finds that wineries focus too heavily on finding new customers when they should put effort into retaining the ones they already have. The days of COVID-19 have shed a spotlight on the brittle tasting room model. Wineries ask customers to travel to them, sometimes at great distances, outlaying significant costs. It is inefficient and now is the time to bolster online presence....


84: Falconry Bird Abatement

As far back as 4000 years ago, man and falcon cooperated to the benefit of both. Today, they are used in the vineyard, other agricultural crops, resorts and landfills for sustainable bird abatement. Beginning at version, grapes become a very attractive food for pest birds, particularly Sparrows and Starlings. Initially the vineyard is explored by small flocks of scouting birds. If those birds like the fruit, and if there is no obvious danger, the entire flock will follow. Falcons terrify...


83: Sustainability - An Advantage in any Market

Sustainability and certification are viewed as a “quality enhancement”. In the currently overly supplied market, sustainability is an advantage. A premium can be getting $200 to $300 more per ton of grapes in a good market or it can mean selling grapes when no one else can in a weak market. Gregg Hibbits, General Manager at Mesa Vineyard Management explains how their dedication to sustainability for over 30 years has drawn like-minded customers to their organization. Their clients large and...


82: Getting to Know Your Wine Customer

Brandi Moody explains that to develop a strong marketing strategy you need to know your consumer segments, learn about them, see what they like, and market to them where they are. Brandi is an experienced marketer with a keen sense of burgeoning trends, consumer insights, and brand storytelling. With the onset of COVID-19, social distancing and shelter in place, we are in the midst of a “cultural reset” that is changing how consumers ingest media and purchase products. Wine brands can take...


81: Wine Marketing in a Pandemic with Rob McMillan

The average winery sells 30 percent of their wines out of the tasting room plus another 20 percent to restaurants. That means 40 to 60 of annual sales are impacted by COVID-19 with closed tasting rooms and take out only restaurants IF shelter in place were to continue all year. But, Rob McMillan, VP and Founder of the Silicon Valley Bank Wine doubts that will be the case. We were already experiencing a market correction before COVID-19, so what can wineries do now and in the future to...


80: (Rebroadcast) The Goldilocks Principle & Powdery Mildew Management

Dr. Michelle Moyer, Assistant Professor and Statewide Viticulture Extension Specialist at Washington State University uses the age old fairytale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to explain powdery mildew. Like Goldilocks, powdery mildew likes the weather conditions to be just right. Dr. Moyer explains these ideal conditions and two key ways to avoid disease in your vineyard by making things “not right”. References: 1: Bunch Rot with Larry Bettiga (podcast)57: Wet Climate Viticulture 79:...


79: Grapevine Fungal Diseases

Wayne Wilxox, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, spent his career on the applied biology and integrated management of grapevine fungal diseases. Wayne looks at berry susceptibility changes throughout the season to determine when control programs need to be maximized. Ultimately, his applied research sought to discover what makes a “disease tick” and use that knowledge to learn how to better target the disease. References: 47: Fungicide...


78: Biological Control for Grape Vine Trunk Diseases

Grape vine trunk diseases are prevalent in mature vineyards, shortening the vineyard’s life and productivity. Akif Eskalen, Cooperative Extension Specialist and Plant Pathologist at the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California Davis, is researching naturally occurring microorganisms to use as biocontrol against these fungal pathogens. Antagonistic microorganisms already live in the plant tissue without causing damage to the plant but may become depleted. Akif and his...


77: Vineyard Pruning Technology

One decade ago, amidst a limited labor supply and growing New Zealand wine industry, Klima co-founders Marcus Wichkam and Nigel George set out to solve their own labor issues with mechanization. By developing a highly efficient vineyard pruning system they have removed the physically demanding portion of the job opening the opportunity to employ fewer, more highly skilled tradesworkers to perform cane selection. This mechanization has enhanced consistency, improved quality, and, with a 50...


76: Regulations that will Affect Your Wine Business this Year

Lauren Noland-Hajik, Attorney and Lobbyist at Kahn, Soares & Conway gives an update on new policies that affect the wine industry. She explains the legislature and how bills are formed through committee hearings; covers the Water Resiliency Plan and how it affects Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; regulating power shutoffs to prevent wildfires; anticipated regulations on pesticides including glyphosate, rodenticides, and fungicides; the importance of educating consumers and government...


75: A New Focus on Weed Management

John A. Roncoroni is the UC Cooperative Extension Weed Science Farm Advisor and UCIPM affiliate advisor in Napa County. In this podcast, John discusses his specialty; weed management in California’s Coastal and Foothill premium winegrape growing regions. He discussed why weeds should play a more important role in pest control programs, knowing which weeds you have on your property, fire mitigation, and the toughest weeds to control today. John received both a BS in Environmental Policy...


74: The Spirit of Wine

In this special holiday edition we bring you a fascinating interview with Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett, professor of Religious Studies at California Polytechnic State University. Stephen looks at the way in which passion for wine acts as a surrogate for religion. In this interview he discusses how wine is a vehicle for communication, creating a transcendent wine experience through your environment, why rituals communicate value, and using this beverage to create bonds. And if you love this...


73: Smoke Impact on Wine

California has seen another challenging and sometimes devastating year of fires. Smoke from these events can cause unwanted flavors in wine. In this interview, Eric Herve, Research Scientist at ETS Laboratories and Matt Brain, Leader of the Sustainability Team at Crimson Wine Group and Associate Winemaker at Chamisal Vineyards, discuss how winemakers can screen grapes for the risk of smoke impact and work to mitigate its effects. Eric covers how impactful these compounds are at very low -...