Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains

SPRING,  2024

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Next Program:

Wednesday, May 8, 2-4:00pm:
Floor Management, with Dr. Mark Greenspan and Loni Lyttle, Advanced Viticulture
at David Bruce Winery
Dr. Mark Greenspan and Loni Lyttle of Advanced Viticulture will speak to us on floor management, including: till no till pros and cons, cover crop, water, nutrition and more. The meeting will include a walk and talk in the vineyard with Mark and Mitri Faravashi, winemaker at David Bruce, followed by a presentation and social hour. Mark worked with the David Bruce vineyards as a vineyard consultant starting in 2006.
Mark Greenspan, Ph.D, CPAg, CCA is President/Partner and Viticulturist, Advanced Viticulture, Inc. in Sonoma. He has nearly three decades of viticultural experience, comprised of scientific, technical and practical field efforts. Mark’s academic background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an M.S. in Viticulture and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering, all from the University of California, Davis. For more information see 
Loni Lyttle, Director of Viticulture at Advanced Viticulture, earned a BA and Masters degrees in Viticulture & Enology at the University of Turin. She has been with Advanced Viticulture since 2019.
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Recent Past Meetings:  

Thursday, Sept. 14, 10:30-12:00:
Drone Spraying Field Demo with FarmX and Ag-Bee
at Ascona Vineyard
FarmX will demonstrate drone based spraying in vineyards.  You will see an actual demo of an aerial drone spraying a vineyard (note, water will be sprayed). You will learn the state of the drone spraying industry, capabilities and limitations of drone spraying, what kinds of vineyards drones are most suited to spray, and typical spraying costs. You will also learn how to get started with drone spraying, coverage rates, and application rates that are possible with drones. A single aerial drone can optimally spray up to a 40-acre vineyard, including fungicides, foliar fertilizers and pesticides.
And this will give us an opportunity to get together and compare notes before harvest.
FarmX, headquartered in Mountain View, also provides capabilities for grape monitoring and irrigation automation using a unique soil moisture probe that measures a volume 4′ in diameter, and other crop parameters to provide irrigation recommendations based on the local weather and soil type. In addition, you will hear about how FarmX automates valves, pumps, and more to enable deficit and short cycle irrigation. FarmX ipartners with Ag-Bee, LLC to provide aerial drone spraying services for nut, vegetable, wine and table grapes growers and more.  
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Saturday, June 24, 10:00-12:00  – Fritz Westover, Virtual Viticulture Academy
Vineyard Management Strategies Workshop for the Summer and Beyond (see more below)
– in person at Neely Wine / Spring Ridge Vineyard
555 Portola Rd., Portola Valley  (note this is the winery address, not the tasting room address)
Fritz Westover of Virtual Viticulture Academy (VVA) will be ere with e program jam packed with hands-on, actionable advice for the coming summer months. See the program topics below.
Vineyard Management Strategies Workshop for the Summer and Beyond
Program Time/Date
10:00am-12:00pm + 1 hour social
Saturday, June 24th
Neely Winery, 555 Portola Rd, Portola Valley, CA 94028
Fritz Westover, Virtual Viticulture Academy
Ken Swegles, Rhizos Viticulture
Lucy Neely, Neely Winery
Grapevine Nutrient Testing & Fertilization Strategies
  • Leaf vs petiole testing – timing, methods, interpretation of results
  • Critical windows for fertilizer application & best methods for efficient uptake
  • Spray adjuvants & timing to enhance foliar nutrient uptake
  • Best timing for foliar vs. ground applied or drip irrigation applied fertilizer
  • What to look for in the canopy when assessing vine health
Nuances of Canopy Management Tasks
  • Shoot thinning to improve dormant pruning efficiency
  • Canopy management tasks that reduce disease pressure
  • To hedge or not to hedge – what are the options?
Spraying to target critical times for disease development
  • Identify critical times for disease susceptibility of fruit
  • Tips for rotating chemistries for conventional spray programs
  • Best spray adjuvant choices for organic or conventional tank mixtures
A holistic view on sustaining yields
  • Four season factors influencing yield
  • Actions growers can take from harvest to budburst to improve yields
  • Assessing yields




Thursday, March 30

Grape Vine Trunk Disease and Pruning Sealant, with Alan Haack, SePRO Ag
Including an Application Demo
Also:  Frost Mitigation, and more
At Ascona Vineyard
This meeting has been rescheduled from earlier in the month (due to the ongoing storms) now to March 30 when we will have a break in the weather.  It will include a presentation on Vine Trunk Disease and pruning sealant with Alan Haack, SePRO Ag, makers of the biofungicide Bio-Tam. And we’ll have a demo of its application. We’ll also talk about ways to mitigate frost damage. And view a variety of training systems in use at Ascona.
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Friday, March 3, 1:00-3:00pm – in person at 3P Vineyard in Soquel
Storm Preparedness and Damage Recovery, Plus Funding for Vineyard Conservation Practices
– with Rich Casale and Drew Mather, NRCS
We have had some fierce storms, a lot of rain and high winds, in the past couple of months. Rich Casale and Drew Mather of the local NRCS office (Santa Cruz County) will address:
– storm preparedness;
– what to do (and not to do) in an emergency if you experience storm damage
– storm damage recovery practices and/or strategies;
– and NRCS/Farm Service financial and technical assistance programs throughout the year for conservation and other management practices.
You may have had trees uprooted on your property that have compromised soil retention, drainage or erosion issues, etc. And if not yet then it will still be good to know what to do to avoid and address in the future. Plus, you’ll find out about some valuable funding assistance through the NRCS for a wide range of conservation practices, of which some of our growers have benefited from over the years.
If you have particular damage issues that you are interested to have addressed during the program you can email Rich ahead of time at .

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 2023 harvest, equipment for sale/wanted, and more, as posted. Watch the Exchange page as more classifieds are posted.


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.