Protecting Water Quality in Vineyards (319h)
In 2001, CCVT received a grant from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop demonstration sites that minimize non-point source pollution and protect water quality.
What is Non-Point Source (NPS) Pollution?
NPS pollution occurs when water that carries pollutants moves over the soil surface or percolates downward through the soil profile. These pollutants can be natural or "man-made" and may eventually be deposited into streams, rivers, lakes, the ocean, coastal estuaries and groundwater. NPS pollutants commonly associated with agriculture include sediment, fertilizers, and pesticides. Water containing any of these constituents reduces the potential of this water being beneficially used for drinking, irrigation, recreation, and the environment.
What are Best Management Practices (BMPs)?
- BMPs are strategies that reduce NPS pollution involving reducing the potential pollutant (i.e., nitrogen) and/or reducing the pollutant carrier (i.e., fast moving water).
- BMPs for this project are practices that reduce off-site movement of soil, water, fertilizers and pesticides.
- BMPs being implemented in this project include: grassed roads and water ways, cover crops between and under the vines, and fertilizer management through soil and petiole sampling.
- Twelve demonstration vineyards were selected from existing Central Coast vineyards that are within the Salinas, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez watersheds. Many of these vineyards are current CCVT members. However, several non-member vineyards were chosen to encourage broader participation.
- Demonstration sites were selected primarily based on their areas of sensitivity and proximity to water bodies. Specific project areas include dirt roads, barren areas with no cover, and areas where minimizing fertilizer applications were of interest to the vineyard managers.
- Project monitoring includes annual PPS evaluations, photo documentation, stream monitoring, and soil sampling.
- Once demonstration areas were selected, BMPs were developed utilizing technical assistance from Cooperative Extension, Natural Resource Conservation District, and erosion control specialist.
- The NPS team worked closely with vineyard managers to ensure that the BMPs were consistent with their management objectives for these areas.
- Full cooperation and "buy-in" is necessary for this project's success because successful implementation of these practices requires substantial work from the growers.
- Demonstration growers are matching this project with vineyard equipment, staffing, seed establishment, irrigation, and monitoring during the establishment of vegetation.
Learn More about the Clean Water Project
- Clean Water Project Fast Facts (pdf)
- Clean Water Project Technical Sheet (pdf)
- Clean Water Project PowerPoint Presentation (pdf)
- Summary of BMPs Implemented at Demonstration Sites (pdf)
- Final Report - Executive Summary (pdf)
- Impacts on Erosion (pdf)
- Costs (pdf)
- Water Quality Regulations Provide Incentive for Cost-Effective Cover Cropping Programs (Practical Winery and Vineyard, January, 05)
Special Thanks to the Following:
Funding Agency - Regional Water Quality Control Board 319(h)
Learn More about Sustainable Vineyard Practices
Spring 2020 Update: Agricultural Water BMP Adoption Project
Vineyard Team is a non-profit outreach and education organization based in Atascadero, California. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) awarded a grant to Vineyard Team in 2017 to study grower adoption of irrigation best management practices in vineyards. Over three years 57 growers were recruited into the project.
Handy guide for pre, during and after season.
Mantenimiento del sistema de irrigacion. Previo, durante y despues de la estacion.
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.
A template for creating your own plan to better manage the natural resources in and around your vineyard.
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.
Jim Anshutz, Partner, AgH2O talks about irrigation system maintenance, technology, and efficiency.
Mark Greenspan, Ph.D., President and Viticulturist, Advanced Viticulture, Inc. shares his insights on irrigation scheduling, technology in the vineyard, and more.
Diurnal changes in berry size pre- and post-veraison.
A study of how water flows into to and out of grape berries pre- and post-veraison.
Sometimes a series of short irrigations are better than one long irrigation.
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.
Calculating the amount of water and Nitrogen applied to a vineyard are important for tracking inputs and improving efficiency. Required for SIP Certified vineyards and a helpful tool for any farmer, this workbook includes how to interpret soil and water analysis reports and how to calculate total water applied from irrigation, frost protection, and rainfall plus total nitrogen applied from fertilizer, compost, and water.
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.
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.
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This meeting brought together experts, boots-in-the-field irrigators, and vineyard managers to share their knowledge and experience with drip irrigation system maintenance and repair.
Ashley Poupart explores why sustain practices are important to the wine and winegrape industries followed by an overview and comparison of the major sustainability certifications available to vineyards.
Dr. Kaan Kurtural, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist with UC Cooperative Extension describes the benefits of mechanizing viticultural operations. Q&A for this session is here: https://youtu.be/JUF1FaEUudE
Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager for Jackson Family Wines Los Alamos, answers questions about the vineyard operations he has mechanized on his ranches including weed control, canopy management and efficient harvesting. The full session is found here: https://youtu.be/ItFu_50H0og
Dr. Kaan Kurtural, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist with UC Cooperative Extension answers questions about the benefits of mechanizing viticultural operations. The main talk is found here: https://youtu.be/V6gQ-KJ_XFM
The Lodi Winegrape Commission and Vineyard Team invited vendors with different technologies to a workshop for show-and-tell.
Glossary of terms and some useful information about aerial imaging.
First in a two-part series on using aerial maps generated from images captured by a UAV for viticultural decision-making.
Second in a two-part series on using aerial maps generated from images captured by a UAV for viticultural decision-making.
Check out some favorite episodes Here are ten episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast you don’t want to miss.
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Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC talks about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of developing a vineyard and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.
Dan Rodrigues, Owner/Viticulturist of Vina Quest LLC talks about ways to reduce the environmental impacts of vineyard development and preventing future pest problems through careful planning and paying attention to the unique topography and ecosystems of individual parcels of land.
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Slides from Margy Lindquist's talk about the importance of conservation planning as part of vineyard development at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo.
Slides from Project Manager Andrew Johnson's talk about how the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD and Resource Conservation Districts can help growers protect and improve their land during vineyard development.
Contacts, definitions, and processes for disposing of pesticides (hazardous waste in San Luis Obispo County.
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.
Calculating how much fertilizer to apply or was applied is easy using these simple steps.
Use this helpful spreadsheet to calculate how much liquid fertilizer to apply or was applied.
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.
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.
A fact sheet about cover crops and tillage.
A list of questions you should discuss with your irrigation dealer before purchasing an irrigation system. This will help you make better decisions about system design options. You will also understand the obligations of both yourself and the dealer when designing your irrigation system.
The crop looks good and canopy growth is strong.
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Doug Beck, Science Advisor for Monterey Pacific Inc., talks about the different types of technology used in the vineyard.
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Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and Statewide Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges
State implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
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