The Vineyard Team began originally as the Central Coast Natural Vineyard Team in 1994. The group consisted of a dozen growers and winery representatives who met monthly over sandwiches and wine. It wasn’t long after that when they finalized the mission statement and began developing the Positive Points System.
In 1994, the research coming out was primarily based in the San Joaquin Valley and was applied to Thompson seedless grapes. As a new Central Coast winegrape industry was evolving, the Vineyard Team’s core group identified a need for more progressive and regionally based research and education, in addition to issues of resource protection.
Our programs are funded through private membership dollars, events (Sustainable Ag Expo and Earth Day Food and Wine Festival), donations, and grants/contracts.
The Vineyard Team advocates practices that promote balance & diversity. Practices include cover cropping, monitoring and recording of pests and beneficial insects, planting insectary refuges, and a number of other practices that address the unique needs of individual vineyards. Although growers go to many lengths to reduce their chemical inputs, when treatments are made, the Vineyard Team's growers opt for the softest materials and the most effective applications.
The Vineyard Team has about 300 members representing over 80,000 acres.
Anywhere from $180 - $1500, depending on acreage or case production. Associate members can join for $500.
Yes – as long as they sign the “Statement of Commitment," any vineyard can join.
We have several members located outside of the Central Coast. These members still attend our educational activities and find our resources helpful. And because of our unique commitment to sustainability – and nothing else – these members want to support the Vineyard Team’s mission. Nevertheless, there are several other regional organization that do a great job with their grower and winery programs. Check out our industry links for more info.
Not technically – but we work collaboratively with technical advisors to implement new practices on demonstration sites for specific projects. We do, however, have a great resource library and have many contacts for various technical issues. So, look at us as an information and network resource, rather than consultants.
The meetings are open to all industry and affiliated professionals. If you don’t fit into that category, but are still interested in attending, contact us and we’ll let you know if we can help you.
The Positive Points System and the Future Plans Form currently qualify as a Farm Plan for the Regional Water Quality Control Ag Waiver. In addition, our educational meetings qualify as continuing education for water credits. We’ve become very familiar with these requirements, so call our office if you have any questions.
We reach about 1,500 people each year through our tailgates, workshops, and the Sustainable Ag Expo. In terms of industry and technical publications, we reach about 20,000 people. And then there are the booths, presentations, youth days, and festivals – conservatively, we reach about 20,000 through those activities.
That’s a great question! Come to our Earth Day Food and Wine Festival! It’s a fundraising event to support our sustainable ag research and education programs, in addition to our farmworker outreach. You could also be a community supporter.
The list can go on forever – but here are a few good places to start:
* University of California Sustainable Ag Research and Education Program
* Alternative Farms Information Center
* Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas
* Cal Poly Sustainable Ag Resource Consortium
If these don’t give you the information you need, contact us and maybe we can help you narrow your search!