2013 Meetings



Agroecological Principles for Vineyard Floor Management, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 6pm
with Steve Gliessman, UCSC Professor Emeritus, Alfred E. Heller Professor of Agroecology and Founder, UCSC Agroecology Program; and vineyard owner, Condor’s Hope Winery in Santa Barbara.  Steve Gliessman will talk about balancing the decisions to be made in the vineyard about the often competing practices of cover cropping, cultivation timing, and soil moisture management.

Where: Equinox/Bartolo Winery

About Steven R. Gliessman:
Gliessman is an internationally recognized leader in the field of agroecology.  He was the founding director of the UCSC Agroecology Program; he founded and directs the Program in Community and Agroecology (PICA), an experiential living/learning program at UCSC; he heads UCSC’s Agroecology Research Group, an interdisciplinary body of faculty, students and others in the agroecological community; and he is the author of numerous books and articles.
Gliessman defines agroecology as the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable food systems.  Research has included the conversion of conventional cropping systems to ecologically-based management; and the interface between agroecosystems and natural ecosystems.
Gliessman owns Condor’s Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara County, an organic orchard and vineyard.


Botrytis and Canker Diseases with Larry Bettiga, Viticulture Farm Advisor, U.C. Cooperative Extension, Salinas, at Silver Mountain, Thursday, August 22, 2013, 3:00pm

Botrytised wines are among the most sought after in the world – but unless that is what you are trying to achieve, bunch rot is not desirable. Vines infected early in the year, particularly during spring rains, generally go dormant until the berries ripen and split; late season rains can cause infection; and the virus can overwinter to infect again the following year. Infected fruit is a challenge for the winemaker, and can result in off-flavors and a reduction in wine quality.

Canker diseases (including measles, eutypa dieback, and others) are known to be responsible for a significant decrease in vineyard longevity and productivity. Vines can be infected soon after planting; however, it usually takes several years for the first symptoms to appear. As a vineyard ages and the disease becomes more severe, spur positions decline, yields decrease, cordons die back, and eventually the entire vine declines.

Learn more about these diseases, how to identify them in your vineyard, and how to deal with it if you find it.


Seminar: Resource Conservation & Efficiency for Vineyards and Wineries 

Thursday, July 25, 2013, 8:00am-2:30pm, Hilton Hotel 6001 La Madrona Drive, Scotts ValleyWith featured speaker Dr. Marcus Buchanan on Vineyard Water Management:
Whether or not you irrigate you will learn more about the effects of water (or lack of) on winegrape quality. Whether or not you irrigate, this program will provides valuable, useful information . Topics include water management for winegrape quality; groundwater availability issues; rainwater catchment; the Central Coast Ag Waiver and its implications for everyone; measuring and tracking water, energy and nitrogen use; rebates and funding sources; best practice examples from some of our local growers; and more. [Print a copy here with the agenda]

This is a free program brought to us by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), and co-sponsored by the VASCM and SCMWA. Lunch is included.

We have had little rainfall since the beginning of the year, and although our vineyards are thriving it is a very dry summer. For some, well water is non-existent or limited. How can you use water sustainably and efficiently in your vineyards and wineries?  Regulatory agencies are imposing restrictions and requirements for water storage and runoff. Some of you have already been contacted about the Central Coast Ag Waiver, and want to understand more about it. Water Boards throughout the state are drawing up plans for water use. What are the implications of this on everyone.


Grafting Tailgate,  June 12, 2013, 10am at Muns Vineyard
This will be a grafting demonstration with Ed Muns. If you would like to practice slicing buds from bud wood stock, bring some of the bud wood you saved earlier in the year, along with a grafting knife – you can practice slicing off the buds on your own cuttings. If you don’t have cuttings you saved, or recent prunings (that might work for practice), then come anyway and you will see how it is done.Here is how the grafts progressed …

28 June 2013                      8 July 2013                     31 July 2013

You can watch a video about grafting on the VASCM YouTube channel here. This demonstration was done by David Gates of Ridge a few years ago at Burrell School. And you might find some other videos there you would like to watch. Videography and YouTube Channel created by Kevin Monahan and Denise Gallant, of Video4.


Organic Wine Trail, April 20-21, 2013:  In recognition of Earth Day, three Santa Cruz Mountains wineries will showcase their CCOF-certified organic vineyards and practices with a wine trail and vineyard tours: Alfaro Family Vineyards; Silver Mountain Vineyards; Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards. Learn more about growing organic winegrapes. See the website. Additional CCOF-certified vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains include: Big Basin Vineyards; Kathryn Kennedy; Portola Vineyards in Portola Valley; Four Gates Vineyard in Santa Cruz.


Pinot Paradise

  • Friday, March 22 (all events at The Mountain Winery:
    – The Technical Session: Minerallity– Taste vs Terroir; Unlocking the secrets of Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
        Speakers include:
    – Josh Jensen, Calera Wine Company
    – Dr. James Kennedy, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Viticulture & Enology, Director of the Viticulture & Enology Research Center, CSU Fresno.
    – and a panel and tasting of Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noirs with local winemakers, moderated by David Glancy, Master Sommelier, founder of the San Francisco Wine School
  • Saturday, March 23:
    – Pathway to Pinot Paradise – a self-guided tour and tasting of Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot producers and vineyards
    – Winemaker Dinner in the evening, at Shadowbrook in Capitola
  • Sunday, March 24:
    – The Grand Cruz Tasting, at Villa Ragusa in Campbell.


Ecosystem Management and Biodiversity Conservation Practices for Your Vineyard – How You Can Benefit,   Saturday, February 23, 9:00-2:00:

Loma Prieta Community Center, 23800 Summit Rd., Los Gatos 95033
(at the Loma Prieta Elementary School) There is no charge for this program. You will receive a complimentary copy of the new, 3rd edition of the CSWA’s Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook. Bring a laptop if you want online access. Lunch will be provided.
Numerous scientific studies and practical experiences have shown that biological diversity is a crucial factor in maintaining or increasing the sustainability and stability of farming systems. Biodiversity in agricultural systems recycles nutrients, helps manage undesirable organisms, and more. This program will address habitat conservation and reasons for it; conservation of ponds and streams; native vegetation as cover crop; protection of native wildlife; hedgerows and other native planting; soil biodiversity; sheep, goats, etc. for weed control. Sustainable practices are good business practices. This program and workshop brings you several very knowledgeable speakers illustrating how you can apply and benefit from these practices, and the day ends with a tailgate visit to Rhys 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.