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Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains

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                                  Associate Member of 

     
             Storr's                                                             Rusticana                   

     
                        Thomas Fogarty                              ---------------------------------------------   Muns   ---------------------------------------------

  
     Cooper-Garrod                                                  Silver Mountain

Spring 2014

With virtually no rain for 13 months (January 2013 through January 2014), everyone has been focused on a drought year.  And with great yields in 2012 and 2013, the expectation is for lower yields in 2014.  On 20 February 2014, UC Davis held a special seminar on Vineyard Water Management.  Then, in February the Santa Cruz Mountains received 10-15" of rain in several moderate doses.  If March and April can provide some more precipitation, the vineyard soils should be well-charged for another great season.

Bud break occurred 1-2 weeks earlier at most sites.  This has been due largely to the unseasonably mild, sunny days.  Daytime temperatures have been in the 60s with some excursions in the 70s and the solar radiation is warming the soils to signal springtime to the plants.  Flowering plants around the region have been blossoming weeks earlier than normal.

By early June, most varieties were through fruit set and the continuing warm spring is driving vine and fruit development strongly.  At that point, another early harvest appeared likely.  And, unlike the outlook at the beginning of the year, harvest yields could be high again this year, based on the quality and quantity of fruit set.  It is unusual to have three strong years in a row, but this could be the exception.

Meetings & Events

  •  Surface Renewal Evapotranspiration, June 2, 3:00pm at Thomas Fogarty Winery
    Our guest speaker: Tom Shapland, Tule Technologies. This is the 3rd (and last) in a series on vine water use and smart water management. Tom will talk about surface renewal evapotranspiration as an actual measurement of ET and vine water status.
    And, we will have a vineyard tour and talk with Nathan Kandler about what is going on at the Fogarty vineyards, which includes new plantings and moving to organic growing.
     

Recent Meetings

  •  Vine Water Use, Friday, April 18, 9:00am-12:00noon at Ridge Vineyards
    18100 Montebello Rd., Cupertino
    RSVP please  to mary@munsvineyard.com (so we can plan for lunch which is provided).
     

    Vine Water Use

    This is a joint program with CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers)
    See the flier here.

    This program will be about understanding and measuring vine water use for vine health and fruit quality.  It continues what will be a series on vineyard water issues. In this program:

    - David Gates at Ridge Vineyards has very generously volunteered to host and will talk about the irrigation strategies he has implemented. He dry farms some blocks and irrigates others. He will talk about irrigation triggers, as well as his use of sap flow monitoring instrumentation from Fruition Sciences. And he will give us a vineyard tour and talk about his water conservation measures overall.

    - Thibaut Scholasch, PhD., founder of Fruition Sciences, will talk about vine response to water stress and the science behind using sap flow sensors to schedule irrigation.

    - Larry Bettiga, UCCE Viticulture Advisor for Santa Cruz County (web page here), will give us the big picture on vine water use, including the effects of water availability and drought conditions on vine health, and different measurement methods.

      

    A couple of weeks ago we heard from Marcus Buchanan who set the stage with an information-packed presentation on vineyard water management.  His presentation will be made available shortly (it is a quite large file). In this next program we will hear about a specific application at Ridge, as well as one of the tools available for measuring vine water status (sap flow monitoring). And in a subsequent program (date TBD in May), we will hear about another new technology for  measuring vineyard water use from Tule Technologies. Each program will provide something different and new.  If you can make it to only one or two, you will get a big picture context for vine water use at each as well as hear about some of the tools available. If you can make it to all of them you will get a whole lot of valuable information indeed, and still get something new from each.
     

  •  Vineyard Water Management – Strategy, Monitoring and Implementation with speaker Dr. Marcus Buchanan, Buchanan Associates.
    Saturday, March 8, 2014,10:00am-12:00noon
    at the Loma Prieta Community Center, 23800 Summit Rd., Los Gatos, 95033
     
  •  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.
     
  •  Botrytis and Canker Diseases with Larry Bettiga, Viticulture Farm Advisor, U.C. Cooperative Extension, Salinas, at Silver Mountain, Thursday, August 22, 2013,3:00pm

    (Vine Talk: Harvest, 2013: Anticipating an outstanding vintage; keep an eye out for botrytis; correct nutrient deficiencies for next year; prepare for harvest.)

    This was our Summer BBQ!
     

  •  EcoWinegrowing Seminar: Resource Conservation & Efficiency For Vineyards and Wineries, Thursday, July 25, 2013, 8:00am-2:30pm, Hilton Hotel 6001 La Madrona Drive, Scotts Valley

    With featured speaker Dr. Marcus Buchanan on Vineyard Water Management:

  •  Grafting Tailgate, June 12, 2013,10am at Muns Vineyard
    This was a grafting demonstration with Ed Muns.  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.

     

  •  Membership Application: Membership dues for 2014 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
Telephone
408-984-7242
FAX
408-317-9305
Postal address
P.O. Box 8092, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-8092
Electronic mail
General Information: info@vascm.org
Webmaster: webmaster@vascm.org
 

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Last modified: 30-Jul-14 13:31 -0500