2017 Meetings

Friday, November 10  at Heart O’the Mountain Vineyard,  hosted by Brandon Armitage

Winterizing Your Vineyard, and Fire Prevention in Vineyards  with Rich Casale, NRCS
This meeting will be about preparing your vineyard for the coming winter, including cover crops, erosion prevention (in the vineyard and outside the growing area, including roads), preventing landslides, what to do and not do in the event of debris flows, storm water runoff, mulching, etc. If we have even half the rain we had last winter these issues can be pertinent. Cover crops should be going in now, especially with rain coming in soon, and we would have liked to have had this meeting earlier, but you can also plant a late season, cold tolerant annual cereal grain.

Rich Casale recently ‘retired’ from the NRCS but was recently hired back to work in Napa and Sonoma in the aftermath of the catastrophic fires there. So, in addition, he will talk about fire prevention in our vineyards, a topic that has been foremost in our minds recently with wildfires locally in the past couple of months (Saratoga, and the Bear Fire) and the past couple of years, as well of course with the recent wildfires north of us.

Brandon Armitage will talk about the vineyard and his wine production.


Friday, Aug. 11 at Peter Martin Ray Vineyard

Preparing for Harvest, and Aerial Vigor Mapping
with Kevin Gould, Hawk Aerial and
Rick Anzalone, vineyard manager

Kevin Gould, owner of Hawk Aerial, will give us a presentation and demonstration of the use of drones for mapping vineyard vigor and analytics to help pinpoint problem areas. We also want to take this opportunity to talk about preparing for harvest, with a discussion led by Rick Anzalone, vineyard manager for the Peter Martin Ray Vineyard. This will be a great opportunity to visit this historic vineyard in Saratoga.


Thursday, April 20

Shoot Thinning with Ron Mosley, Vinescape
at Domaine Eden

Ron Mosley will give a presentation on shoot thinning and a demonstration in the vineyard at Domaine Eden. With all the water in the soil this year we can expect aggressive shoot growth.

Ron planted the vineyard originally in 1983 for Tom Mudd, the founder of Cinnabar Winery, and has continued to work this vineyard since and currently with Jeffrey Patterson, who acquired the property in 2007. The vineyard is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ron manages about 80 vineyards in the area, and teaches a series of viticulture classes at Foothill College, including vineyard management (this summer), installation (starting in September), and pruning. You can see more information on these classes here.

Thursday, March 23

Thermaculture with Marty Fischer, President, Agrothermal Systems

at Stockwell Cellars
1100 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz

Agrothermal Systems has pioneered the use of thermaculture, a new sustainable method that uses heat, applied with a machine pulled by a tractor, to promote healthier plants and improve yields. Benefits include improved set, reduced pesticide use, and improved wine quality by increasing phenols and antioxidant levels. This method is currently in use in vineyards throughout California and locally at Windy Oaks, in the Pacific Northwest and Europe. It is effective for various varietals, and has been found to be especially beneficial to Pinot Noir.  Dr. Richard Smart joined the company last year to help develop the science behind thermaculture. Find out more from this presentation about what thermaculture is and how and why it works.

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.