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.
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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 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.
We bring together researchers and experienced growers to share their expertise on critical resource concerns from irrigation to pest management, soil health to safety training at Tailgate meetings. Not only do growers get timely information, they also have the opportunity to talk directly with each presenter.
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 42,000 acres, five wineries, and 49 million bottles of wine meet the programs 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.
The role social media has played in this broad expansion of human interaction cannot be understated. Whether it's for business or pleasure, social media often takes up a big chunk of what we do online and even how we spend our time.
Invasive pests and diseases are a challenge for all grape growers. Research is vital to develop new strategies and solutions. The Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board was established nearly two decades ago to allocate funding to the most promising research projects. Kristin Lowe, Research Coordinator at the Pierce's Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board and President of Vine Balance Consulting shares how projects are funded through a rigorous scientific review and screening panel. Also, learn about some of the most exciting projects including “pathogen confusion” to control Pierce’s Disease from Dr. Steve Lindow and a gene-editing technology for grapevines using plant protoplasts Dr. David Tricoli.
Vine mealybug can cause permanent damage to vineyards if left unchecked, yet can be easily confused with several similar pests. Vine Mealybugs can usually be distinguished from these other mealybugs by their short ‘tail’ filaments, smaller size, and more oblong shape. Another telltale sign of this pest is the excessive amount of honeydew they produce. Learn about mealybugs and how to distinguish vine mealybugs from other species in this article.
Weed control in vineyards enhances the establishment of newly planted vines and improves the growth and yield of established vines. Growers have many weed management tools available to achieve these objectives, but the method in which these tools are utilized varies from year to year and from vineyard to vineyard.