Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains

Spring 2021 – The New Vintage Is Happening!

  • Muns Vineyard

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Next Meetings

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.
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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.
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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 info@vascm.org.

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For more information on meetings, contact info@vascm.org

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.

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Industry Conferences/Educational Opportunities 2021                 


Feb. 10:  Free Webinar from Enartis - A Vintage Defined by Heat Waves, a Tool to Improve Vineyard Resiliency
  • Register here at: https://enartiseducation.clickmeeting.com/heatwaves/register
  • See details below
  • For more information contact: education@enartis.com

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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

Who: A gathering of regional winery and vineyard associations, engaged grower and vintner leaders, and others committed to the sustainability of their local vineyards, wineries and regions.

What: Learn some of the driving forces behind the increasing interest in sustainable winegrowing. Be inspired with new ideas on how to bring sustainability education and outreach to your region’s vineyards and wineries.

Why: Together we can enhance the sustainability of all U.S. vineyards and wineries and credibly communicate the nationwide commitment to a global audience.
Day 1 - Monday, April 19:   U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Tasting and Seminar

11:30am-1pm PT/2:30pm-4pm ET (virtual event)

Join us for a unique opportunity to taste four sustainably grown and produced wines from California, Oregon, New York and Washington and a discussion about sustainable winegrowing across the U.S. Tickets for the tasting, which will include wine tasting kits, will be available for purchase soon.
Day 2 - Tuesday, April 20:  Summit Session 

10am-12pm PT/1pm-3pm ET (virtual event) 

Summit sessions kick off with a brief summary of recent trade and consumer research on interest in sustainably produced wine, includes a keynote address about trends and observations on sustainable winegrowing in the U.S., and a panel discussion on how to message sustainability to consumers and trade.

Summit Vineyard & Winery Tour 

1pm-2pm PT/4pm-5pm ET (virtual event) 

Visit four sustainable vineyards and wineries in California, Oregon, New York and Washington (virtually!) and join in a discussion about sustainable practices in each region.



Day 3 - Wednesday, April 21:  Summit Session 

10am-12pm PT/1pm-3pm ET (virtual event)

Join us for a grower/vintner panel discussion on climate change resiliency and a discussion on what is next with sustainable winegrowing, including how to meaningfully address diversity, equity and inclusion in sustainable wineries and vineyards, and how to communicate about the role of crop protection materials in sustainable vineyards while facing increasing pressure from stakeholders on its use.  


Visit  sustainablewinegrowing.org/summit for more details and registration or contact info@sustainablewinegrowing.org 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).

Mission

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: info@vascm.org
Webmaster: webmaster@vascm.org
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.