Donuts & Tailgates: A Vineyard Team Tradition

Back in the early days of Vineyard Team (originally named Central Coast Natural Vineyard Team), the group wrote the first self-assessment for sustainable vineyard farming – the Positive Points System (PPS).
We faced a challenge: how could we attract an audience to an educational meeting to complete the PPS?
We knew people would want to visit a place they normally couldn't, so the grower and site were key. We would look for a grower with an interesting trial or practice. Throw in some donuts, and Tailgate Meetings were born. 
One of our first Tailgates was with Pebble Smith (James Berry Vineyards) discussing the ins and outs of his evolving no-till floor management program. We knew a few people would be interested, but how many would actually come? 
It turns out that many local growers wanted to hang out with Pebble, walk the vine rows, and check out equipment. The success of this early Tailgate showed us we were on to something.
Since the mid-1990s, we've replicated this formula hundreds of times.
Thank you to Kris Beal, Vineyard Team Executive Director from 1998 to 2021, for sharing this great piece of history.
Come revisit our roots with donuts and great conversation at the Tailgates this year!
« Back to News Index