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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.




107: How Grazing Sheep Can Benefit Your Vineyard

Using sheep to graze vineyards has many benefits including lowering the carbon footprint, fewer tractor passes, and reduced herbicide use. Kelsey Brewer, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California at Davis has been researching how these living lawnmowers impact nutrient and energy flows in the eco system. When tractors were replaced by sheep, the research team found that vineyards had 1.3 times more organic matter and nitrogen plus twice as much available soil nitrogen in the soil....


106: What? Bury Charcoal in the Vineyard?

What, bury charcoal in the vineyard? Biochar is a specialized form of charcoal made from waste woody biomass at high temperature in the absence of oxygen. We know soil organic matter is important for the health of any crop. It turns out the use of charwood (biochar) goes back to ancient civilizations and it can be found naturally in soils from fire events. Doug Beck, Science Officer at Monterey Pacific in Monterey California, recently conducted a four-year trial to test the impacts of...


BONUS: The Smiths of Saxum Support College Students in the Name of Juan Nevarez

Higher education is important to many students but paying for college can be challenging. The Vineyard Team Educational Scholarship helps college students whose parents work in members' vineyards and wineries achieve their dreams. The Smiths of Saxum and James Berry Vineyard, know that our people are vital to sustainability. Justin Smith tells the story of Juan Nevarez, a person instrumental in their wine business for over three decades, and their inspiration to donate to the scholarship...


105: Grapevine Shaking for Botrytis Control

In 2008 the oversupply of Sauvignon Blanc coupled with the financial crisis lead to trialing shaking to remove berries in New Zealand for the very first time. A few years later, the New Zealand Winegrowers Society funded a three-year grant to test the impacts of shaking on dropping fruit, wine quality, and botrytis. Mark Allen of Allen Vineyard Advisory explains that because shaking the vine four to six weeks after fruit set does cause some damage to the canopy and berries, pathologists...


104: How to Tell Your Story on Instagram

The 2020 pandemic showed many brands how social media can be an important means of communication. Heather Daenitz of Craft & Cluster helps wines brands tell their grape to glass story with photography and social media. Keeping up with latest trends and algorithms can be challenging. At the end of the day, Instagram wants to keep people on the platform as long as possible. If you have good content the algorithm will show your posts to more people, benefiting both your brand awareness and...


103: Environmental, Social, & Governance Initiative in Spain’s Priorat Region

The small Priorat region in Spain has a fascinating history dating back to the Moors in the 8th century, to the birth of its wine production for a local monastery in the 1100s to the near complete devastation of its vineyards by phylloxera in the late 19th century. Replanting began in earnest in the 1950s and top reviews by Robert Parker in the 2000 helped solidify this area as a top wine region in Spain. Local Perinet Winemaker Antoni Sanchez-Ortiz notes how years of abandonment has lead...


102: Effects of Landscape Management on Pest Control in Vineyards

The resource concentration hypothesis looks at how the advent of modern agriculture as monoculture created an environment where pests can grow faster because their resource, the crop, is more prevalent. Biodiversity is fundamental for pest management and Daniel Paredes, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Davis, in the department of Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology, is studying how sustaining natural habitat around vineyards can increase biodiversity. Promotion of...


101: Sub-surface Micro-irrigation in Vineyards

While grape production does not require extensive water use and the majority of vineyards in the Pacific North West are drip irrigated, drought conditions in recent years have led growers to seek more efficiencies to reduce water use. Pete Jacoby, Professor of Crops and Soil Sciences at Washington State University knows that in a traditional drip irrigated vineyard, water is lost through evaporation plus plants loose about 90 percent of the water they take up through transportation. Most...


100: New Grape Disease Sensing Technology with Hyperspectral Imaging

Once a vineyard manger has found disease there is often not much to be done, they are merely mitigating loss. The Lab at Cornell has launched several grape disease sensing technology projects to study early detection and how to use that information. Leading the research is Katie Gold, assistant professor of plant pathology and plant microbe-biology at Cornell AgriTech. The programs utilize imaging spectroscopy (also known as hyperspectral imaging) deployed at all scales, from autonomous...


99: New Regulations – from COVID to Wildfires

Wildfires and COVID impacted legislation as much as they impacted wine production this year. Lauren Noland-Hajik, Attorney and Lobbyist at Soares & Conway coves some of the major changes seen in 2020 and what is coming up in 2021. The March shutdown of the legislature due to COVID resulted in the handing off of power from the legislature off to governor to make executive orders. This is a scenario that has not been seen in a long time and was still in place as of the end of 2020. With the...


98: Selling Wine in Non-Traditional Channels

In 1972 Paul Kalemkiarian’s father purchased a liquor store and began featuring two of his top wine picks each month. Customers, appreciative of the direction in wine selection, would ask to have wine shipped to them and the Wine of the Month Club was born. The intent of the club remains the same, to help customers select a good wine for the value, not to sell any wine. After sampling over 100,000 wines, Paul knows you need to taste a wine to know if it is good. Having a sustainable...


97: How the 2020 Fires & COVID Impact the Grape Market

In mid-April 2020, the grape market saw its highest bulk inventory at 23 million gallons. By November that quantity had reduced significantly to 8.5 million gallons. Audra Cooper, Central Coast Grape Broker and Partner at Turrentine Brokerage explains how the grape market has been on a roller coaster throughout 2020. At the beginning of the year, most varieties and regions in California were in drastic oversupply. The onset of COVID lead to pantry loading as people increased wine consumption...


96: Spotted Lanternfly - Threat to California

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is the newest agricultural invasive species in the United States. Originally from Asia, this insect feeds on plant sap from a broad range of hosts. Dr. Heather Leach, Extension Associate at the Department of Entomology at Penn State University is focused on researching this insect and educating the public on how to manage the pest. Although it appears that SLF has been in the United States for some years, growers are now seeing adverse effects and report extreme...


95: Current Status of UC Cooperative Extension - Retirements and Recruitment

Today, 40% of the California wine industry does not have a Farm Advisor. Four industry veterans discuss retirements and recruitment for UC Cooperative Extension. Larry Bettiga, long time UCCE Farm Advisor Monterey County, discusses how reduction in staff looks from the perspective of a Farm Advisor. Chris Storm, Viticulturist of Vino Farms covers his experience with Farm Advisors and their import to the industry to assist smaller growers and facilitate research. Dr. Wendy Powers, Associate...


94: Effective Vineyard Spraying

Leading expert Dr. Andrew Landers of Cornell University discusses his more than thirty years of research and development on pesticide sprayer technology to reduce pesticide use through accurate, efficient delivery of the product to the plant. References: 2015 Precision Agriculture WorkshopAndrew Landers WebpageEffective Vineyard SprayingEffective Vineyard Spraying Online Educational Module (DPR CE credit available)Pesticide Application Technology at Cornell Sustainable Ag ExpoSIP...


93: Farming Hemp in Wine Country

A recent study examined the potential of hemp terpene drift from hemp crops planted in close proximity to vineyards in Sonoma County, California. George Sellu, Program Coordinator and Instructor in the Agribusiness department at Santa Rosa Junior College explains the nuances of hemp production from how volatile aroma profiles vary by variety, the lack of studies to show volatiles impact grapes, wind influence on volatile organic compound movement, and smoke taint. George Sellu joined the...


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: (Rebroadcast) 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...