Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team brings you 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. Our podcasts will help you make smarter, sustainable vineyard management decisions to increase efficiency, conserve resources, and maximize fruit quality.
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"It is obvious that the Vineyard Team podcasts are peer to peer as they are concise, relevant, trustworthy and about the length of time it takes to get between different vineyards, so we can get back to the real business of drinking wine."
Greg Pennyroyal, Vineyard Manager Wilson Creek Winery, Professor of Viticulture Mount San Jacinto College
What, bury charcoal in the vineyard? Biochar is a specialized form of charcoal made from waste woody biomass at high temperature in the absence of oxygen. Doug Beck, Science Officer at Monterey Pacific in Monterey California, shares how biochar and compost amendments improve nutrient efficiency, improve water holding capacity, and positively impact yields.
Higher education is important to many students but paying for college can be challenging. The Vineyard Team Educational Scholarship helps college students whose parents work in members' vineyards and wineries achieve their dreams. The Smiths of Saxum and James Berry Vineyard, know that our people are vital to sustainability. Justin Smith tells the story of Juan Nevarez, a person instrumental in their wine business for over three decades, and their inspiration to donate to the scholarship fund in his name.
In 2008, the oversupply of Sauv. Blanc coupled with the financial crisis lead to trialing shaking to remove berries in New Zealand. A few years later, the New Zealand Winegrowers funded a grant to test the impact of shaking on dropping fruit, wine quality, & botrytis. Mark Allen of Allen Vineyard Advisory explains that because shaking causes some damage to the canopy and berries, pathologists assumed that the shaken vines would have a higher incidence of botrytis. They were surprised when they did not.
The 2020 pandemic showed many brands how social media can be an important means of communication. Heather Daenitz of Craft & Cluster helps wines brands tell their grape to glass story with photography and social media.
Local Perinet Winemaker Antoni Sanchez-Ortiz notes how years of abandonment has lead nature reestablish its place among the vines, hazelnut, olives, and forest. To maintain this balance of nature and winemaking, the winery has established an ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) initiative.
The resource concentration hypothesis looks at how the advent of modern agriculture as monoculture created an environment where pests can grow faster because their resource, the crop, is more prevalent. Biodiversity is fundamental for pest management and Daniel Paredes, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Davis, in the department of Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology, is studying how sustaining natural habitat around vineyards can increase biodiversity.
While grape production does not require extensive water use and the majority of vineyards in the Pacific North West are drip irrigated, drought conditions in recent years have led growers to seek more efficiencies to reduce water use. Pete Jacoby, Professor of Crops and Soil Sciences at Washington State University is partnering with commercial growers to test a different sub-surface irrigation system - vertically placed PVC pipe.
Once a vineyard manger has found disease there is often not much to be done, they are merely mitigating loss. The Lab at Cornell has launched several projects utilizing imaging spectroscopy (also known as hyperspectral imaging) deployed at all scales, from autonomous rovers to spacecraft with the goal to detect disease earlier when management is going to be both minimal and successful.
Don't miss the top downloaded episodes of 2020. Listen to these five episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast today.
Wildfires and COVID impacted legislation as much as they impacted wine production this year. Lauren Noland-Hajik, Attorney and Lobbyist at Soares & Conway coves some of the major changes seen in 2020 and what is coming up in 2021. The March shutdown of the legislature due to COVID resulted in the handing off of power from the legislature off to governor to make executive orders. This is a scenario that has not been seen in a long time and was still in place as of the end of 2020.
Second generation owner of the Original Wine of the Month Club and host of the podcast Wine Talks, Paul K. knows you need to taste a wine to know if it is good. Decades in the industry have taught Paul that a sustainable business means being able to go to market through different routes so consumers can buy at varying price points. Paul reflects on shipping challenges from reporting to taxes; misconceptions about the quality of wine coming from the bulk market; and the slow road to pivot from on premise sales to online post COVID.
In mid-April 2020, the grape market saw its highest bulk inventory at 23 million gallons. By November that quantity had reduced significantly to 8.5 million gallons. Audra Cooper, Central Coast Grape Broker and Partner at Turrentine Brokerage explains how the grape market has been on a roller coaster throughout 2020.
The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is the newest agricultural invasive species in the United States. Originally from Asia, this insect feeds on plant sap from a broad range of hosts. Dr. Heather Leach, Extension Associate at the Department of Entomology at Penn State University is focused on researching this insect and educating the public on how to manage the pest. Although it appears that SLF has been in the United States for some years, growers are now seeing adverse effects and report extreme vine decline and death.
Today, 40% of the California wine industry does not have a Farm Advisor. Four industry veterans discuss retirements and recruitment for UC Cooperative Extension and brainstorm how the industry can fill this void through PCAs, consultants and organizations like the Vineyard Team and Lodi Winegrowers.
Leading expert Dr. Andrew Landers of Cornell University discusses his more than thirty years of research and development on pesticide sprayer technology to reduce pesticide use through accurate, efficient delivery of the product to the plant.
A recent study examined the potential of hemp terpene drift from hemp crops planted in close proximity to vineyards in Sonoma County, California. George Sellu, Program Coordinator and Instructor in the Agribusiness department at Santa Rosa Junior College explains the nuances of hemp production from how volatile aroma profiles vary by variety, the lack of studies to show volatiles impact grapes, wind influence on volatile organic compound movement, and smoke taint.
David R. Montgomery defines regenerative agriculture as leaving the land better off and more fertile as a consequence of cultivation. In this research, he has defined three principals to build soil fertility; minimal disturbance, cover cropping, and growing a diversity of crops. David has studied the success of these principals in agricultural systems around the world, from subsistence farmers to large commodity crops in North America.
Dr. Charlotte Decock, Assistant Professor Cal Poly - Earth & Soil Sciences talks about soil management with the goal of capturing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and sequestering them in the soil. Her teaching and research focus on sustainable fertilizer and soil management in California’s specialty crops.
Some 25 to 30 percent of vineyards in Washington state have nematode population densities that are considered damaging. Inga Zasada, Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service is particularly interested in nematode management because Washington is mostly own rooted vines. Inga and her team are working on practical research for growers including identifying where different types of nematodes are in relation to the vine and a degree day model for nematode life stages so if chemical becomes available it can be used property.
Steven Lindow, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California Berkley is a plant pathologist and microbial ecologist. He and his team are researching other bacteria that can grow in the grapevine that mysteriously sensitize them to the Pierce’s Disease pathogen. Once inoculated with the new bacteria the plant induces its innate immune system to combat Pierces Disease. This process works like a vaccine although the bacteria itself does not cause a direct action.
50-million-year-old reserves of humified organic matter are a substance called lignite. It is commonly known as brown or soft coal, a substance usually equated with energy production. Researchers at the Technical University of Dresden have found that this very old, carbon rich plant material has the same building blocks as humus – the organic matter reserves found in soil. Virginia Corless, Chief Growth Officer at Novihum Technologies, explains how reacting lignite with nitrogen has created a new soil amendment to improve nutrient retention, water storage, and the vitality of the microbiome.
Bruce Reisch, Professor of Grapevine Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, specialized in the development of new wine and table grape varieties, as well as new grape breeding techniques. Of the more than 60 grape species available, most of the grapes we are familiar with come from European vitis vinifera. Unfortunately, this species offers little disease resistance, but other species have better sources.
While wineries can maintain business operations during COVID-19, day to day operations look much different than they did the first few months of 2020. Hear how three wineries are adapting to their new way of doing business.
Paul Mabray, CEO of Emetry is helping wine brands make more effective sales and marketing decisions with data. He finds that wineries focus too heavily on finding new customers when they should put effort into retaining the ones they already have.
The Sustainable Winegrowing podcast's new Wine Marketing Series is full of information you don't want to miss.
Beginning at version, grapes become a very attractive food for pest birds, particularly Sparrows and Starlings. Initially the vineyard is explored by small flocks of scouting birds. If those birds like the fruit, and if there is no obvious danger, the entire flock will follow. Falcons terrify pest birds, herding them away from the grapes, but not killing them.
Sustainability and certification are viewed as a “quality enhancement”. In the currently overly supplied market, sustainability is an advantage. A premium can be getting $200 to $300 more per ton of grapes in a good market or it can mean selling grapes when no one else can in a weak market. Gregg Hibbits, General Manager at Mesa Vineyard Management explains how their dedication to sustainability for over 30 years has drawn like-minded customers to their organization.
Brandi Moody explains that to develop a strong marketing strategy you need to know your consumer segments, learn about them, see what they like, and market to them where they are.
We were already experiencing a market correction before COVID-19, so what can wineries do now and in the future to connect with their consumers and sell wines?
Dr. Michelle Moyer, Assistant Professor and Statewide Viticulture Extension Specialist at Washington State University uses the age old fairytale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to explain powdery mildew. Like Goldilocks, powdery mildew likes the weather conditions to be just right. Dr. Moyer explains these ideal conditions and two key ways to avoid disease in your vineyard by making things “not right”.
Wayne Wilcox, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, spent his career on the applied biology and integrated management of grapevine fungal diseases. His applied research sought to discover what makes a “disease tick” and use that knowledge to learn how to better target the disease.
Grape vine trunk diseases are prevalent in mature vineyards, shortening the vineyard’s life and productivity. Akif Eskalen, Cooperative Extension Specialist and Plant Pathologist at the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California Davis, is researching naturally occurring microorganisms to use as biocontrol against these fungal pathogens.
One decade ago, amidst a limited labor supply and growing New Zealand wine industry, Klima co-founders Marcus Wichkam and Nigel George set out to solve their own labor issues with mechanization. By developing a highly efficient vineyard pruning system they have removed the physically demanding portion of the job opening the opportunity to employ fewer, more highly skilled tradesworkers to perform cane selection.
Lauren Noland-Hajik, Attorney and Lobbyist at Kahn, Soares & Conway gives an update on new policies that affect the wine industry including the Water Resiliency Plan and how it affects Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; regulating power shutoffs to prevent wildfires; anticipated regulations on pesticides; and impending labor law changes.
John A. Roncoroni is the UC Cooperative Extension Weed Science Farm Advisor and UCIPM affiliate advisor in Napa County. In this podcast, John talks about his specialty; weed management in California’s Coastal and Foothill premium winegrape growing regions and why weeds should play a more important role in pest control programs.
The Vineyard Team’s Sustainable Winegrowing podcast brings you the latest in science and research for the wine industry. As we close out 2019, let’s reflect on the TOP FIVE PODCASTS OF THE YEAR:
In this special holiday edition we bring you a fascinating interview with Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett, professor of Religious Studies at California Polytechnic State University. Stephen looks at the way in which passion for wine acts as a surrogate for religion: how it is used as a vehicle for communication, why rituals convey value, and how to use this beverage to create bonds.
California has seen another challenging and sometimes devastating year of fires. Smoke from these events can cause unwanted flavors in wine. Eric Herve of ETS Laboratories and Matt Brain of Chamisal Vineyards, discuss how winemakers can screen grapes for the risk of smoke impact and work to mitigate its effects.
Dr. Tarah Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Soil Microbiology at Washington State University. In this interview, Tara discusses how the plant microbiome mirrors the human gut, the ways in which soil microorganisms can alter the bioavailability of micronutrients and metals for plants, why plants in alkaline soils can be deficient in iron when the soil is not, if cover crops can improve soil microbial communities, and what is next for her research.
Gerhard (Gerry) Pietersen is a plant virologist with an interest in solving problems in South African agriculture related to plant viruses. In this interview Gerry discusses the severe plant health and economic impacts seen in South Africa from Grapevine leafroll disease, the importance of regional buy in to establish a control program including a very successful collaboration of 50 adjoining farms in New Zealand, and new techniques to detect the virus including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and grafting sensitive red cultivars on white cultivars to use the shoot as an indicator.
Dr. Scott Steinmaus is a professor of Biological Sciences at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. His interview covers the complexities of herbicide resistance including challenges seen in glyphosate research around resistance, information bias, and environmental and social impacts. Scott highlights the importance of “mixing it up” – reducing use, preserving the limited modes of action available, and finding alternatives.
Dr. Luca Brillante from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California Fresno State University discusses his current research and teaching on efficient management solutions through digital viticulture, improved accuracy and cost reduction with automation, and how he is teaching the next generation of viticulturists about sustainable wine production.
Dr. Michelle Moyer of Washington State discusses recent research on integrated pest management for grapevine powdery mildew, how short term weather patterns impacts farming decisions, why clean plants may have made red blotch virus more detectable, controlling wine quality with water stress and “Farming by Excel” – how fewer people working in the field has increased growers reliance on data and technology.
Gregory V. Jones, Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, at Linfield College in Oregon discusses climate structure and suitability for viticulture, how climate variability and change influence grapevine growth, wine production and quality, why we plant only a few hundred of the of the more than 24,000 varieties, how warm climate winegrowing regions have hedged against climate risk by growing multiple varieties, factors beyond fossil fuels that affect climate change, and our biggest challenges ahead.
Dan Rodrigues, Owner of VinaQuest, talks about how the loss of materials impacts farming; disease management for mildew, sour rot, and weeds; the effects of a wet winter; and what trends he sees for the future.
Audra Cooper, Broker/Partner at Turrentine Brokerage talks about what wine and grape brokering is, the factors that affect grape pricing, the 2018 grape market, how sustainable certification can help set grapes apart in a crowded market, and the quality of the 2019 crop.
Dr. Alfredo Koch, Ag Business, Viticulture & Enology Coordinator, Allan Hancock College, describes the Viticulture and Enology Program at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California.
Jim Anshutz, Partner, AgH2O talks about irrigation system maintenance, technology, and efficiency.
Kacy Smith, Health and Wellness Coordinator & Michael Parola, Assistant Ranch Manager and Sustainability Director, Smith Family Wines talk about the social equity component of sustainability at Smith Family Wines.
Dr. Stephanie Bolton, Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission, talks about sustainable farming in the Lodi winegrowing region.
Jeff Newton President & CEO, Costal Vineyard Care Associates discusses his career and the history and future of the Santa Ynez American Viticultural Area.
Paul Crout, Agronomist, Helena AgriEnterprises and Vice-Chair, California Association of Pest Control Advisers, talks about the mismatch between farming and the perceptions and beliefs people have about agriculture.
Mark Browning, owner, Barn Owl Box Company and Head Researcher, Barn Owl/Rodent Project discusses barn owls and their role on the farm.
Fritz Westover, viticulturist with Westover Vineyard Advising and Virtual Viticulture Academy describes growing conditions and challenges in multiple states in the Southeastern United States.
Raymond Baltar, Director, Sonoma Biochar Initiative explains how to execute a conservation burn and make biochar to reduce smoke and capture carbon.
Mark Greenspan, Ph.D., President and Viticulturist, Advanced Viticulture, Inc. shares his insights on irrigation scheduling, technology in the vineyard, and more.
Mark Chien shares highlights from his career helping grapegrowers in some of the most difficult growing regions in the world. From his years as a vineyard manager to Penn State viticulture extension agent, and now Program Coordinator for the Oregon Wine Research Institute.
Production methods for making high-quality compost and sequestering greenhouse gasses in the soil from two professors at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California.
Dr. Cliff Ohmart, owner/operator of Ohmart Consulting Services, shares insights from his career in sustainability research and education in winegrapes and other crops.
Andrew Landers, Ph.D., Director, Effective Spraying & Faculty Fellow, Atkinson Centre for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University, discusses what goes into spraying pesticides efficiently and effectively to reduce environmental impacts, improve safety, and reduce costs.
Kris Beal, M.S., Executive Director of Vineyard Team, recounts some of the history of the organization, it’s current activities and what the future holds in store.
Dr. Kari Arnold talks about Grapevine Leaf Roll-associated Virus 3, its vector the vine mealybug, and how growers can manage the spread of viruses both within and between vineyards.
Jean-Pierre Wolff, Owner & Vintner of Wolff Vineyards, talks about how restoring the creeks around his vineyard created steelhead trout habitat and prevented losing his land to erosion.
Walt Mahaffee, Ph.D., Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Corvalis explains how and why Grape Powdery Mildew populations become resistant to certain fungicides.
Dr. Michael McCarthy, Principal Scientist-Viticulture, South Australia Research and Development Institute, PIRSA, describes viticultural research in Australia.
Sarah Lopez, Executive Director of Central Coast Water Quality Preservation, Inc., gets into the details of checking water quality to comply with regulations through cooperative monitoring.
Marc Lea, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, San Luis Obispo County Ag and Lottie Martin, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office talk about using pesticides safely and recycling pesticide containers.
Josh Prigge, Founder and CEO of Sustridge, a sustainability consulting firm, talks about the ways he has helped his former employers and current clients improve the sustainability of their organizations to not only reduce their environmental impacts, but to work toward regenerative ways of doing business.
Vineyard Manger Lucas Pope describes how he farms 281 acres of winegrapes situated on a 2,000+ ranch of undisturbed oak woodland where he and his team regularly come across deer, coyotes, mountain lion, and rattlesnakes.
Betsey Nash, owner of Nash HR Services, brings the listener up to speed on best hiring practices, HR regulations and HR best practices.
Check out some favorite episodes Here are ten episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast you don’t want to miss.
Steve McIntyre, Owner, Monterey Pacific Inc. and Board Member, Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board talks about the PD/GWSS Board, its function, and how the board works to reduce the impacts and spread of this disease.
Tom Lorish, Senior Customer Relationship Manager, describes multiple Pacific Gas & Electric Company programs and rebates to put money into growers’ pockets.
Tom Lorish, Senior Customer Relationship Manager, describes some of the ways the Pacific Gas & Electric Company can help growers increase the efficiency of how they use electricity on their farms- especially when it comes to irrigation.
Beth Wonson, Founder & CEO of Beth Wonson and Company shares her wisdom about communication in the workplace.
Jackie Dresser, Viticulture Extension Support Specialist at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program talks about her work on improving the accuracy of vineyard yield estimates.
Jackie Dresser, Viticulture Extension Support Specialist at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program talks about her work on improving the accuracy of vineyard yield estimates.
Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager, Jackson Family Wines- Los Alamos describes some of the techniques he uses in his vineyards for managing vineyard pests.
Marc Lea, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner of County of San Luis Obispo and George Donati, General Manager, Pacific Vineyard Company, talk about the dynamics of ag-urban conflicts and how to maintain good relationships.
Growing grapes in Michigan is fraught with challenges, from sub-zero temperatures in the winter to high humidity in the summer. Chantal Lefevbre of WaterFire Vineyards talks about how she manages her vineyards in a sustainable way despite these challenges.
Irrigation is just one of many things on a grower’s mind on any given day. To help growers conserve irrigation water in vineyards, Vineyard Team has launched a project to investigate how growers make decisions to adopt agricultural water BMPs.
Peter Work - Owner, Winemaker, and Vineyard Manager of Ampelos Cellars - recounts how becoming a certified organic vineyard led to becoming Demeter® biodynamic certified and eventually Sip Certified®.
Lino Bozzano, Vice President of Vineyard Operation at Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, describes how he uses goats and sheep to protect and improve the estate.
Amy Wolfe, President/CEO of AgSafe, discusses changes to the Worker Protection Standard including worker training, decontamination, and emergency response training.
This podcast is an excerpt from the talk Dr. Charlotte Decock delivered at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo on understanding soil health - what soil health is, how to increase it, and how to measure it.
This podcast is an excerpt of the talk Dr. Pete Goodell delivered at the 2016 Sustainable Ag Expo on the history of IPM and what IPM is as a philosophy and practice.
This podcast is an excerpt of the talk Dr. Kent Daane delivered at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo on which insecticides are best for controlling mealybug.
Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel, Associate Professor of Viticulture at Cornell University, explains how growing cover crops in the vine row can devigorate vines and protect water quality.
Paul Crout, Vineyard Manager and Viticulturist at Vineyard Professional Services explains why keeping records of water and Nitrogen use in the vineyard is important and how to use that information to best manage your crop.
Chandra Krintz, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science, University of California Santa Barbara explains how scientists and engineers are working on a computer system that will help farmers make better decisions using data analytics.
Many factors influence the number of people coming to the U.S. to work including the cost and danger of crossing the border and improved economic conditions in Mexico.
Stacie Clary, Communications Manager for Western SARE discusses the program and some of its many successes from funding grower-lead projects to find sustainable solutions to agricultural problems.
Dr. Marc Fuchs researches the biology and ecology of the Grapevine Red Blotch associated Virus.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture funds implementation, research, and demonstration of farming practices that capture and reduce greenhouse gasses through the Healthy Soils Program.
Justine Vanden Heuvel explains how computer algorithms can tell growers where to sample in the vineyard by analyzing digital images saving time and money.
The research of Megan Hall and others has advanced our knowledge of the etiology, epidemiology, and management of sour rot from what we knew four years ago. Her research sheds light on the role of fruit flies in this disease complex.
After an epidemic of Pierce’s Diseases devastated the Temecula Valley wine industry in the 1990s, grape growers and scientist are working together to prevent that from happening again.
Greg Pennyroyal discusses the appearance of vine mealybug in the Temecula Valley, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and how the community came together to monitor and manage this pest.
Farming organically has many benefits, but growing winegrapes organically has special challenges. Learn how one grower uses organic pest management practices in the vineyards.
Doug Beck, Science Advisor for Monterey Pacific Inc., talks about the different types of technology used in the vineyard.
Greg Gonzalez, Director of Vineyard Operations at Scheid Vineyards, discusses the ins and outs of sustainability practices.
Dr. Pete Goodell, California Cooperative Extension Advisor, makes the case that IPM is a critical tool to address multiple issues facing our sustainable vineyard and agricultural systems.
Grant Cremers describes his vineyard management strategy through a combination of under-vine cultivation and herbicides at San Bernabe Vineyards.
Dr. Timothy Miles discusses the prevalence of fungicide resistant powdery mildew populations found to be resistant to FRAC group 11 fungicides.
Conservationists Margy Lindquist with NRCS and Devon Best with RCD discuss the importance of and the process of creating a conservation plan.
Find out how NRCS can help you conserve the resources on your property.
Growers share their practices and experiences with fungicide resistance and battling Powdery Mildew in their vineyards.
Dr. Walt Mahaffee describes the latest advances in grape powdery mildew management and reducing fungicide applications through inoculum monitoring.
A grower panel discussion on preventative and management practices for grapevine trunk diseases and Red Blotch Virus management.
Dr. Golino describes the history behind the discovery and study of Red Blotch Disease and other grapevine virus diseases.
Like Goldilocks, powdery mildew likes the weather conditions to be just right. Dr. Moyer explains these ideal conditions and two key ways to avoid disease.