Quarterly Update from Beth Vukmanic | Q1 2024

As a Vineyard Team Member, you have an entire Team working to bring you the best resources on sustainable winegrowing.

In the last three months, our Board, committees, and expert presenters have spent 128 hours developing industry-driven programs that positively influence your business.

And we are only getting started for 2024.


Beth Vukmanic | Executive Director

P.S. Check out all Board and Committee members here.

Pop Quiz

How many times has the Vineyard Team won the Integrated Pest Management Award?

A. 1
B. 0
C. 3

(Answer at the end)


Donuts & Tailgates

In the early days of Vineyard Team, the group wrote the first self-assessment for sustainable vineyard farming – the Positive Points System (PPS).

But we faced a challenge: how could we bring growers together to complete it?

So we found a grower with an interesting practice, threw in some donuts, and Tailgate Meetings were born!

Since the mid-1990s, we've replicated this formula hundreds of times.

We hope to see you at one of the many Tailgates this year. We have gathered the experts to cover everything from water treatment to regenerative agriculture. Your membership includes two tickets to every event. 

Regulatory Relief in Ag Order 4.0

This year, we spent over 240 hours (that’s over 30 working days!) collaborating with Preservation Inc to provide regulatory relief for SIP Certified growers in Ag Order 4.0.

4.0 requires commercially irrigated farms to submit Total Nitrogen Applied (TNA) annually. The report is extensive and requires around hours for growers to complete on their own.

We submitted 160 TNA reports representing over 31k acres on behalf of SIP Certified growers.

Because certified vineyards already submit Nitrogen use through the program, we reduced administrative burdens for both SIP Certified growers and Water Board staff.

Embracing Change: Scholar Update 

Lizbeth had a meticulously laid out plan to become a nurse. After years of studying, she completed her pre-nursing at Cuesta Community College and was ready to transfer.

Everything was going as planned until she was waitlisted in the heavily impacted healthcare educational system. 

Recovering from her disappointment, Lizbeth evaluated her next steps with her pre-health advisor and Scholarship Mentor, Alex.

>>> Read on to learn how she is taking action! <<<

In April, we are adding six new students to the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship.

This program helps students like Lizbeth achieve their dreams of higher education through both financial and support services.

You can help us develop a sustainable program by giving a gift today.

Booths are SOLD OUT

Exhibitor booths for the 2024 Sustainable Ag Expo are SOLD OUT.

We are developing an amazing program and look forward to promoting sustainable winegrowing with you!

Want more ways to reach your ideal customer?

We have more sponsorship opportunities this year, including:

Contact to learn more and to be added to the event booth waitlist. 

Quality Tasting Room Traffic

ReSIProcal February is a month-long tasting promotion connecting sustainably-minded brands and wine enthusiasts.

This February, wine club members of 26 wine brands across four California counties and Michigan State visited 29 tasting rooms to learn about and taste sustainable wines.

Participating in ReSIProcal February has been a huge success. It was the first thing our tasting room staff mentioned at our mid-month staff meeting!” says Denise Shurtleff, General Manager at Cambria Estate Wines. “They were excited to see quality traffic all month long. Customers were buying bottles and we even secured new wine club members. Participating helped us bolster sales in a traditionally slow month."

If you are a SIP Certified brand and want to join ReSIProcal in February 2025, just reach out to

Keep Learning Online

The introduction of Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand in 2023 brought forth a game-changing initiative: no-cost online courses that explore essential subjects like soil health, pest management, nutrition, and climate change.

The grant goal is to educate 100 growers directly and for each of those growers educate at least two colleagues for a total reach of 300 farmers. 

One year into the grant we already have 267 growers participating and earning CCA and DPR continuing education hours.

If you have not already, sign up and start learning on your schedule.

Made possible by Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).

What's Up Next?

P.P.S. The Pop Quiz answer is C: 3

Each year the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) honors California organizations for their integrated pest management (IPM) achievements. The IPM Achievement Awards recognize organizations and individuals that are leaders in using reduced-risk pest management practices and sharing their successful strategies with others.

Vineyard Team has won the IPM Achievement Award three times (1997, 2010, and 2022).

Thank you for helping make us an award-winning organization! Support from business and grower members like you helps us lead projects; collaborate with researchers, ag professionals, and experienced growers; and share these resources with the community at large.

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