Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains

Harvest 2021

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Next Meetings

Thursday, Aug. 5: 
Netting options, Bird control without nets, yellow jacket abatement and wildlife predation: ground squirrels, turkeys, coyotes, etc.
– with Ken Swegles, Bob Neithold and Rick Anzalone at Ascona Vineyard
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Tuesday, July 13, 2:00pm: 

Pre-veraison practices and issues with Chris Bowland, vineyard manager, Williams Selyem
–  including bunch closure, pre-veraison spray programs (organic), and preparing for heat events.  (see more below).
Location:  on Zoom

Chris Bowland manages over 400 acres of Estate and a number of grower vineyards in the Russian River and Bennett Valley AVA’s for Williams Selyem.  We are fortunate to have him talk to us on pre-veraison issues and practices, including bunch closure, pre-veraison spray programs (focus on organic), as well as preparing for heat events.
Friday, May 21, 10:00am: 

Tailgate with Fritz Westover of Westover Vineyard Advising/Virtual Viticulture Academy on a wealth of useful early season practices (see more below).
Location:  Muns Vineyard 

This will be our first in-person meeting in over a year! This is not on Zoom! And we are fortunate to have as our speaker Fritz Westover of Westover Vineyard Advising/Virtual Viticulture Academy who is in the area for the Regenerative Viticulture program at Paicines Ranch this weekend (see the prior email notice). Fritz was previously program director for the Vineyard Team on the Central Coast and now is a vineyard consultant out of Texas, with a national reach through his web-based programs. We were able to persuade him to make a stop in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We had a Zoom program with Fritz last year on early season practices and this time he will talk about some additional topics.  Plus, this is an opportunity to interface with him in person, in the vineyard – and for us to see each other.
Fritz’s talk will include:
– a pruning critique (post-pruning)
– shoot thinning practices
– leaf vs. petiole analysis and establishing a fertilization/nutrition program
– spray program considerations
– drought considerations
and time for Q&A.
Thursday, April 8, 3:00pm (on Zoom):   Carbon Capture and Assessments of Healthy Soils in Vineyards of the Santa Cruz Mountains: Planning Tools and Funding Opportunities
Our speaker is Dr. Christopher Potter, Ph.D. of CASA Systems in Los Gatos. A soil scientist with over 10 years of field experience working in agriculture in northern California, Christopher Potter specializes in carbon farm planning. He will cover the basics of the carbon cycle, sequestration and the benefits of carbon to soil health, enhancing soil microbiology; field-based methodologies for measuring changes in crop production, soil carbon, and microbial activity; and composting, mulching and other management practices to improve vineyard soil health. And, he will let us know about a grant program available from Santa Clara County for its Agricultural Resilience Incentive (ARI) program that funds compost and mulch application and practices that improve soil health.  Dr. Potter has received major grant funding from the State of California (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program and has worked for several years under the CDFA Demonstration programs in croplands, orchards, and rangelands to assess carbon capture and improvements in soil water retention and drainage.  He has lived in Los Gatos for the past 25 years.

Friday, Jan. 22, 3:00pm (on Zoom):  Weed Management, with John Roncoroni, UCCE Weed Science Farm Advisor

John Roncoroni, UCCE Weed Science Farm Advisor, specializes in vineyard weed management and speaks to growers throughout Northern California. John will talk about all things weeds, including: identifying and targeting weeds; understanding the lifecycle and avoiding seed regeneration; organic herbicides; weed management options.
Also, it has been a great disappointment to many of us that WeedSlayer is being investigated by the CDFA. Specifically, the AgroGold component of the 2-part system came under investigation the end of last year when it was reported that non-organic ingredients were found (sp. glyphosate and diquot).  We will speak to this to the extent that we are able as results of the investigation have not yet been reported. And, John Roncoroni will talk about organic herbicide alternatives.

If you need the Zoom link contact


For more information on meetings, contact

See  recent meetings on the Meetings page here

See the Buy/Sell Exchange here for Santa Cruz Mountains winegrapes available for the 2021 harvest, equipment for sale/wanted, and more, as posted. Watch the Exchange page as more classifieds are posted.


Industry Conferences/Educational Opportunities 2021                 

Aug. 11: Free UC webinar on Grape Powdery Mildew

UC’s IPM program is holding a free webinar Aug. 11, 1-3pm on Grape Powdery Mildew Management and Challenges.  Register in advance at the link here .

In this webinar, various speakers from UC and UCCE will discuss the biology and ID of powdery mildew, history of sulfur use, formulations, mode of application, and role in resistance management, air assisted sprayer settings, air induction nozzles, and using spray cards to assess coverage, the effect of certain weather conditions on drift, powdery mildew fungicide resistance and more.

Speakers include:

– Lynn Wunderlich, UCCE Farm Advisor, Central Sierra

– Mark Battany, UCCE Water Management and Biometerology Advisor, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties

– Larry Bettiga, UCCE Viticulture Farm Advisor, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties

– Dr. Gabriel Torres, UCCE Viticulture Farm Advisor, Tulare and Kings Counties

– Dr. Akif Eskalen, Plant Pathologist, UC Cooperative Extension

October 18 – Nov. 30:  Sustainable Ag Expo

The Vineyard Team’s Sustainable Ag Expo this year will be a combination of virtual and in-person gatherings spanning 6 weeks from Oct. 18-Nov. 30. More info and registration here.

Online programs include:
– vine mealybug management
– controlling grapevine trunk diseases
– managing soil health, and more

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Feb. 10:  Free Webinar from Enartis - A Vintage Defined by Heat Waves, a Tool to Improve Vineyard Resiliency


April 19-21:  The 2nd U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit - Now Virtual!

Hosted by: California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, LIVE, Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Oregon Wine, New York Wines, Washington State Wine and Washington Winegrowers

Visit for more details and registration or contact with questions. 

VASCM Membership

Membership dues are only $50 annually and are due at the beginning of the year.  Membership is open to those sharing an interest in viticulture in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Please download the Membership Application from the Membership page here (and please include the form with renewals in order to convey any changes).


To serve the common interests of all Santa Cruz Mountains appellation winegrape producers, and to enhance the quality, profitability and reputation of winegrape production in the appellation through promotion and education.

Association Profile

President:  Mary Lindsay, Muns Vineyard

Vice President:  Ken Swegles,  Rhizos Viticulture

Secretary: June Salsbury, Spring Hollow Vineyard

Treasurer:  Rick Clarke, Empty Nest Vineyard

Contact Information

Postal address
P.O. Box 933,  Soquel, CA 95073-0933
Electronic mail
General Information:
Harvest, 2019

Spring was long and cold and brought a lot of rain throughout the region and with it pressure from mildew and other fungal diseases in many vineyards.  Rain during bloom in some vineyards will affect croploads.  For those vineyards that started bloom after the rains the crop is looking very strong.  In many vineyards bloom was late, and then budbreak, and then veraison. Veraison started in many vineyards in August, and harvest is later than usual.  Although an unusual growing season for many it has resulted in plentiful croploads with excellent fruit. Many growers are enthusiastic about the 2019 vintage.

Harvest 2018

The 2018 vintage by and large is seeing excellent crop loads and stellar quality. Cool temps from early Sept. on allowed for long hang time and for many a delayed harvest that developed fruit flavors. However, the myriad microclimates of the mountains makes it difficult to generalize, and a warm August precipitated ripening and harvest for some.  Growers and winemakers are excited by the 2018 vintage and what it promises in the bottle!

  • Burrell School Vineyards

To serve the common interests of all Santa Cruz Mountains appellation winegrape producers, and to enhance the quality, profitability and reputation of winegrape production in the appellation through promotion and education.