In the Vineyard with Paul Verdegaal – Looking Back at 2014

December 22nd, 2014
In the Vineyard with Paul Verdegaal – Looking Back at 2014

The 2014 season was a challenging and difficult year that ended well. Growers and winemakers deserve a tip of the hat. There were however some scattered misfortunes. The harvest wrapped up in the second week of October for most, although a few blocks were harvested slightly thereafter. The first week of December 2013 was very cold. This, combined with a third year of drought caused winter injury and some dieback…

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Water Management — Part I

December 15th, 2014
Water Management — Part I

Introduction Describing the issue of water in California, Mark Twain once intoned, “whiskey’s fer drinkin’, water’s fer fightin’.” Winegrapes use less water than most crops, so we do a little less fighting than some, but we still need to manage our most precious resource to the best of our ability. Drip (or “low volume”) irrigation has revolutionized viticulture. Low volume irrigation systems allow small amounts of water to be applied slowly and frequently through emitters…

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Conservation Tillage of Cover Crops in Vineyard Soils to Improve Carbon Sequestration and Diminish Greenhouse Gas Emissions

December 8th, 2014
Conservation Tillage of Cover Crops in Vineyard Soils to Improve Carbon Sequestration and Diminish Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and other sectors of California’s economy has become one of the most important environmental concerns of state and federal regulatory organizations. This is the result of the June 2006 passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill 32, which calls for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) production to 1993 levels by 2020; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent endangerment finding…

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Vineyard Management Practices and Carbon Footprints

December 1st, 2014
Vineyard Management Practices and  Carbon Footprints

The California grape and wine community, like many other agricultural and business sectors, is increasingly interested in better understanding its ‘carbon footprint’. A carbon footprint can be defined as a comprehensive measure of the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced and consumed, and is used to determine whether or not individual operations are contributing to the increase of GHGs in the atmosphere. Some vineyard operations, such as tractor driving, “produce” the GHG carbon dioxide (CO2). Indeed,…

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