When wine enthusiasts see the SIP Certified seal on your bottle, they know they are looking at a wine that was made with conscious care for the people and the planet. But don't take it from us -- here's what fellow SIP Certified members have to say about certifying their wines...
Most wine shoppers purchase from retail outlets, whether online or in person. This means that the majority of your wine sales probably aren't coming from your tasting room or even your winery's website, where you have a controlled platform from which to deliver the message of your brand's sustainability. With the search for sustainable goods on the rise, you need a way to let wine enthusiasts know about the sustainability of your wine when you can't be there to tell them.
The number of winery businesses has grown, on average, 4.5% each year for the past five years, with over 7600 wineries currently operating in 2022. Among the dizzying sea of wine options, having a certification differentiates your brand!
There has been a big surge in wine consumption on a macro level in recent years. California production is down due to both the removal of acres and climate challenges. Because national production cannot keep up with demand, imports have increased. Dr. Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner at Beacon Economics and Director of UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting looks at big picture economic themes in the wine industry.
Your brand's website is an excellent hub for consumers to find your brand's core information, such as your address, hours of operation, menu, shop, history, and awards. But what can you to do connect with your loyal supporters in their daily lives? Regularly post on social media, of course!
Have you worked with a social media influencer? While the concept of working with influencers may sound intimidating to some, we can assure you that with clear goals and succinct calls to action, the process is super rewarding and for direct to consumer sales can be very lucrative.
Did you know that the Farm Service Agency offers financial assistance to remove and replant vines infected with Red Blotch? Jeff Sledd, County Executive Director at the San Luis Obispo County Farm Service Agency explains how the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) offers commercial farmers aid with multiple qualifying disasters including natural occurrences like freezing or floods, and diseases including Pierces Disease and Red Blotch.
Social media has changed the way consumers and businesses interact. It not only provides convenient two-way communication between consumers and the products and services they support, but it has opened the door for consumers to participate in the marketing. Here are four tips to grow wine sales with social media.
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.
There are three levels of cold hardiness in grapes and understanding these can help growers select and manage the best varieties for their region. Imed Dami, Professor of Viticulture in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University, explains cold tolerance and new information about the role of abscisic acid in ripening.
More Americans than ever are making environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to the products they buy and the businesses they support. Consumers want to support brands that share their values and take action to preserve the health of the planet.
Growers know that variation in the vineyard is important to manage, but they don’t always know how to work with spatial data. Terry Bates of Cornell University has worked with a team to create the Efficient Vineyard Project. Growers can improve their farming techniques with the three-phase approach; Measure, Model, and Manage.
In an era of declining resources, US-based vineyard consultant Kelly Mulville writes of his experience to develop viticulture methods that eliminate the need for mechanical or hand cultivation, mowing, tillage and suckering while simultaneously improving soil health sequestering carbon), increasing biodiversity and reducing irrigation needs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How does the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 impact your insurance policies?
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?
We’ve all seen the pictures and heard stories about the increasingly catastrophic wildfires that have ravaged California since 2017. Luckily few of us experienced the fires firsthand and even fewer have had losses. So why is our insurance being affected so drastically?
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Every Grower Needs to Know. As harvest gets underway for some and is in full swing for others, the issue around having sufficient labor persists.
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.
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.
Results from four harvest-years showed a higher productivity, up to 66% with no signiﬁcant differenceswere observed in grape quality parameters. The observed increase in productivity was inversely correlated with rainfall in the vegetative period. These ﬁndings support the feasibility of a biochar-based strategy as an effective adaptation measure to reduce the impact of water stress periods with no negative effects on grape quality.
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.
A comprehensive overview of what is known about the presence of viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens in nursery stock including Foundation Plant Services mother blocks.
Dr. Michael McCarthy, Principal Scientist-Viticulture, South Australia Research and Development Institute, PIRSA, describes viticultural research in Australia.
Vineyard Team Technical Program Manager Dr. Craig Macmillan discusses the theory and assumptions behind crop estimation.
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.
In winegrowing regions with insufficient rainfall, the importance of a well-functioning irrigation system cannot be overstated. Here are some of the most common problems found with drip irrigation systems in vineyards and some practical solutions.
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.
Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager for Jackson Family Wines Los Alamos, walks through all of the vineyard operations he has mechanized on his ranches including weed control, canopy management and efficient harvesting. Q&A for this session is found here: https://youtu.be/nC1gSjtU1QM
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
A list of vendors compared on 10 variables.
Check out some favorite episodes Here are ten episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast you don’t want to miss.
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.
Multiple crop estimation methods are described including the use of Growing Degree Days to predict final yield.
Capturing images of grapes under bright light at night is used to estimate final vineyard yield.
A vision system mounted on a vehicle automatically and accurately estimates final vineyard yield.
An automated system was used during three growing seasons to monitor the change in tension in the load-bearing wire of a trellis to estimate yield in vineyards.
A survey of automated image processing methods for estimating final vineyard yield from images.
Improving Yield Estimates: You can improve the accuracy of your estimates when you think about the assumptions behind how and how much to sample. Slides from Dr. Craig Macmillan's talk at the Crop Estimation Tailgate-3/15/18
This article from WSU Extension provides an overview of yield estimation methods meant to improve the accuracy of your crop estimates.
Contacts, definitions, and processes for disposing of pesticides (hazardous waste in San Luis Obispo County.
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.
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.
Dr. Phillip Martin, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis, discusses some of the factors that affect the supply of farm labor in the United States.
Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Greg Gonzalez, Director of Vineyard Operations at Scheid Vineyards, discusses the ins and outs of sustainability practices.
Although symptoms of the disease aren't apparent until late in the season, the vectors are on the move.
If you plan to replant vines due to the Red Blotch virus or Pierce's Disease, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Farm Service Agency Tree Assistance Program.
A grower panel discussion on preventative and management practices for grapevine trunk diseases and Red Blotch Virus management.