Home Feedback Contents Search

Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains


Map with permission of VinMaps

About The Appellation
Buy/Sell Exchange
Meetings & Events
Vine Talk: Seasons
The Vineyards
The Wines

                                  Associate Member of 

             Beauregard Bald Mtn.                            Black Ridge                                      

McCarthy Ranch                                              Branciforte Ridge                                                Windy Oaks

     -----------------------------  Muns Vineyard   ------------------------------

     Silver Mountain                                                  Burrell School     

Spring 2015

As Winter 2014-1015 transitions to Spring, we've been thankful for gorgeous days and some nice rainstorms to charge the soil moisture for the coming season.  Many areas are close to average precipitation totals.  The mild weather with lots of sunshine has warmed the soils and signaled the vines to wake up a few weeks earlier than normal.  Everyone is rushing to finish pruning and anticipating another great vineyard year.

Meetings & Events

  •  Vineyard Microclimates: Sunlight Exposure, Grape Temperatures -  May 27 at Cooper-Garrod  2:30 - 6:00.
    Our guest speaker: Stuart Weiss, Ph.D. of  Viticision will speak about making adjustments in the vineyard (to row orientation, canopy management) for improved grape quality, and how our vineyards may be affected and adapted in the face of changing climate. As well, we will get a tour of the certified organic vineyard and sustainable practices at Cooper-Garrod.
        Sunlight and temperature are two of the most important factors that affect photosynthesis and ripening. Dr. Weiss will talk about how vineyard practices affect climates in the vineyard, and how to adapt practices to produce the highest quality grapes. Viticision's climate analysis modeling tools help to determine optimal row direction and trellis design for the site based on balancing the light and heat environment to help reduce sunburn, improve ripening and grape quality.
        Dr. Stuart Weiss is a climatologist and conservation biologiest in Menlo Park with a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Stanford University. He focuses on the ecological effects of microclimate, weather and global warming - and brings this expertise to the vineyard with his company Viticision. Clients include J Lohr, Laetitia, Robert Mondavi, Chandon, and more.

  •  New Perspectives and Tools for Vine Water Use and Saving Water - June 30
    A Joint program with Community Alliance of Family Farmers (CAFF)
    - details to come.

    Speakers include:

    - Tom Shapland, Tule Technologies. Tom spoke to us a year ago and is returning with an update. Tule has recently installed sensors measuring vine water status in several vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains (Ridge, Muns, Windy Oaks) and is now able to talk about the results they are measuring in our region. This presentation will address different seasonal stress targets for different production goals (for example, quality vs yield), as well as the stress levels and irrigation amounts on different soil types in Santa Cruz and other coastal regions.

    - Lars Pierce with CSU Monterey Bay:  The Vineyard Soil Irrigation Model (VSIM) provides free, automated irrigation forecasts.
    The VSIM model couples a canopy ETc model to a soil water balance model to estimate daily block water balances.  For each day from Jan. 1, vine and cover crop water use (ETc) are calculated as the product of ETo and the crop coefficient (Kc).  We then subtract ETc from soil moisture (SMy) and add in rainfall (R) and irrigation (I) to estimate the current soil moisture (SMd).  When estimated soil moisture exceeds field capacity (FC), excess water is subtracted from soil moisture to estimate deep drainage (D).  From soil moisture we estimate leaf water potential (LWP).  As water stress increases, we reduce daily ETc using a Ks scalar designed to estimate the effects of water stress on stomatal closure. For more information, see the website at https://sites.google.com/a/csumb.edu/vsim/.

    - Rich Casale, NRCS:  'The Forgotten Practices' That Help Save Water in The Vineyard
    Many if not most water conservation efforts and programs concentrate on irrigation practices, improving irrigation system efficiencies, system conversions and all sorts of water management and monitoring methods. There are, however, many other practices (often overlooked) that can help reduce irrigation water use and/or save water.

  •  Tailgate at Storrs Vineyards, Corralitos, Saturday May 9, 10:00-12:00.
    Learn about the sustainable practices implemented at Storrs vineyards with a tour led by Steve and Pamela Storrs and Rich Casale of the NRCS. These practices include: drainage/runoff control, hedgerows, sheep grazing, wildlife-friendly practices including wildlife corridors and structures, rainwater harvesting; and other vineyard management and conservation practices, many designed and financed through the NRCS' EQIP program.

Membership Application

  •  Membership Application: Membership dues for 2015 are due at the beginning of the year.  Membership is open to those sharing an interest in viticulture in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Annual dues are $50 paid each calendar year.  Renewals should also include the membership application to convey any changes of information.

Latest News

  •  Santa Cruz Sentinel, Feb. 14, 2014, "Santa Cruz Mountains winegrowers expect smaller 2014 harvest after 2013 bumper crop."  by Donna Jones.  (also printed in the San Jose Mercury News).
  •  San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 6, 2013, "Santa Cruz Mountains winemakers can thank Mother Nature for this year's bountiful grape crop", by Shannon Burkey.
  •  Wines & Vines Magazine, 10.09.2013:  Coastal Wine Harvest is Early and Booming: Santa Cruz Mountains growers enjoy spectacular 2013 season, by Jane Firstenfeld.  Following what they are calling a "phenomenal growing season," most wine grape growers in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA just south of San Francisco are "totally jazzed about this year's vintage,"... see more here.
  •  The Santa Cruz Sentinel's Ag Almanac, May 19, 2013: story on our sustainable vineyard practices in the Santa Cruz Mountains, by Justine DaCosta.
  •   The Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 2013: ad on SCM vineyards, sponsored by VASCM.  (Click on the thumbnail below to view full size.)

  •  Annual EQIP Funding through the NRCS:  Applications will come due toward the end of 2013.  Prior to the deadline you need to:
    • Fill out and sign a standard Request for Assistance form, and submit it to the county-appropriate NRCS representative listed below. This will initiate the scheduling of a site visit and resource assessment.
    • Then you will need to contact and meet with the USDA Farm Services Agency in Salinas to start the eligibility determination process. Contact Vivian Soffa, 831-424-1036, ext. 108

    There is EQIP funding in every CA county:

    • In Santa Cruz County:  Rich Casale, (831) 475-1967
    • In Santa Clara County contact Bob Rohde or Athena Pratt at (831) 637-4360.
    • In San Mateo County contact Jim Howard at (650) 726-4660.

    For more information about EQIP, read this program description provided by Rich Casale.

  •  The Santa Cruz Mountains is "the finest place within California to grow Pinot.  It is interesting to see such a small area have such an impact on this varietal."' - Scott Clemings, Epicurean Traveler, in a video interview at Pinot Paradise. See the interview on the VASCM YouTube Channel.



  •  New Sub-regions for the Santa Cruz Mountains:  VASCM has worked with AppellationAmerica.com on a series of tastings evaluating Santa Cruz Mountains wines produced from our vineyards, and in the process we have defined five subregions characterized by distinct flavor profiles.  They are: Skyline; Los Gatos/Saratoga; Summit; Los Ranchos (Hwy. 17 corridor to Santa Cruz); Corralitos/Pleasant Valley.  Read more about the subregions and their flavor profiles here.  Read more about the subregions and flavor profiles of the three varietals we evaluated -- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux -- on the AppellationAmerica.com website.

Members of the Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains (VASCM) are premium winegrape growers in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation.  Meetings are held bi-monthly with topics that promote quality winegrape production.

Our 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

Vice President: Rachel Ormes

Secretary: June Salsbury

Treasurer: Bruce Manildi

Past Presidents: Prudy Foxx, Bruce Manildi

Contact Information

Media Contact
Mary Lindsay
Postal address
P.O. Box 8092, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-8092
Electronic mail
General Information: info@vascm.org
Webmaster: webmaster@vascm.org

[ Home ] About The Appellation ] News ] Buy/Sell Exchange ] Meetings & Events ] Membership ] Newsletter ] Sustainability ] Vine Talk: Seasons ] Sources ] Links ] History ] The Vineyards ] The Wines ]

Send mail to webmaster@vascm.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2004-2011 Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Last modified: 11-May-15 11:25 -0400