Looking for viticulture education and to build your industry network but do not know where to start? Being a Vineyard Team Member gives you access to the latest science-based practices, experts, growers, and wine industry tools through both in-field and online education so you can grow your business.
The Vineyard Team is dedicated to providing you with the latest sustainable farming practices through field demonstrations, expert presentations, research, and grower-to-grower networking. Since 1994, we have partnered with hundreds of growers to promote sustainable winegrowing and we love hearing success stories like this from Andy Niner of Niner Wine Estates:
“Farming is hard. It’s a huge benefit to be part of a community of like-minded farmers that work together openly to figure out how to improve and overcome challenges.”
For growers, wineries, and agricultural vendors dedicated to sustainable winegrowing.
Becoming a Grower Member gives you access to all Tailgates free of charge, discounts to the Sustainable Ag Expo, and the opportunity to network with like-minded farmers ag professionals. Plus, your membership drives ongoing research and education about sustainable viticulture.
Becoming a Vineyard Team Business Member gives you the opportunity to connect with farmers, ag professionals, and pest control advisors so you can network directly with upper-level agricultural decision-makers. Memberships must be finalized by February 28 to receive full benefits. Click here for a printable PDF of the benefits.
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*Premium booths are located in high-traffic areas.
^Premium Double booths are twice the size of standard booths and are located in high-traffic areas.
Arising from a small grower group’s desire to educate and guide themselves towards sustainable winegrowing practices, the Vineyard Team has become an internationally recognized leader in the sustainability movement. Since 1994, the 501(c)-3 non-profit has served its membership of farmers, winemakers, and industry partners by creating an educational network with the leadership of its staff and board of directors to help growers save resources and money, all while cultivating valuable relationships.
The Vineyard Team will identify and promote the most environmentally safe, viticulturally and economically sustainable farming methods while maintaining or improving the quality and flavor of wine grapes. The Team will be a model for wine grape growers and will promote the public trust of stewardship for natural resources.
Tailgate meetings are in-person educational events (field demonstrations and discussions) where we go out to a property to hear from researchers and growers on a given topic. Topics range from irrigation to pest management, soil health, safety training, and more. They are casual events, typically lasting 1 to 2 hours, where growers have the opportunity to join the conversation and talk directly with presenters to learn how to adopt sustainable farming practices in their vineyards.
We know growers want to learn about the latest science-based practices but the calendar fills up fast. By completing online courses farmers can learn from experts and growers about the most pressing issues in the field to stay up-to-date with viticulture science and regulatory updates on-demand, from anywhere. Plus, many offer DPR and CCA continuing education hours.
The popularity of Tailgate Meetings spawned the Sustainable Ag Expo - a multi-day educational conference bringing the latest scientific and technical information to growers, pest control advisors, and other agricultural professionals interested in and committed to sustainable farming. Since 2005 the Sustainable Ag Expo has fostered conversations on the most pressing issues in the field including pests and diseases, natural resource conservation, technology adoption, and regulatory compliance.
Demonstration projects help growers learn about new management techniques, successfully adopt new practices, and minimize risk. Staff, technical advisors (University of California Cooperative Extension/university professors), and growers collaborate to implement specific practices and share the results with the winegrowing community. Projects are funded by state grants and the generous contribution of participating grower’s time, materials, land, and funds.
Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team offers the latest in science and research for the wine industry. This on-the-go, sustainable farming educational resource provides in-depth technical information on topics like integrated pest management, fruit quality, water conservation, and nutrient management from experts like Dr. Mark Fuchs of Cornell University, Dr. Michelle Moyer of Washington State University, Cooperative Extension Specialists, veteran growers, and more. The podcasts help growers make smarter, sustainable vineyard management decisions to increase efficiency, conserve resources, and maximize fruit quality.
In 1996, the Vineyard Team wrote the first self-assessment for sustainable vineyard farming called the Positive Points System (PPS). Since its inception, over 1,000 evaluations representing 60,000 acres were collected. The PPS helped educate and guide hundreds of growers towards adopting practices that protect both human and natural resources – from soil health to water conservation, social equity to continuing education. Growers and winemakers can still participate in this educational process by completing SIP Certified as a self-assessment.
Many consumers want to buy sustainable wines but are not sure how to find them. So, in the early 2000s, industry leaders discussed the possible shift from using the PPS as a self-assessment to a third-party certification that would be meaningful, measurable, and verifiable. A year later, technical stakeholders began developing the Standards (rules) to address sustainability on every level from habitat protection to soil quality; water conservation to recycling; social equity to business stability. The SIP Certified vineyard program was piloted in 2008. Because sustainable winemaking does not stop in the vineyard, a program for wineries was piloted in 2016. Today, over 46,000 acres, five wineries, and 55 million bottles of wine meet the program's strict standard for sustainable wine production. SIP Certified shows that growers and wineries use practices that protect the people and planet so their customers know that the wine was made with care.
The Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship helps college students whose parents work in our members' vineyards and wineries achieve their dreams. Since 2015, the fund has awarded over $125K in higher education scholarships based on academic excellence, financial need, and community involvement. Many recipients have been first-generation college students.
Did you know… that searches for sustainable goods have increased globally by 71% since 2016?
Composting is taking diverse organic material and making a habitat for the microbes that will process the material. Jean Bonhotal, Director of Cornell Waste Management Institute in the Department of Soils and Crop Sciences explains that there are three necessary ingredients to make a great compost.
These posters describe how compost can be used in different applications to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils.