Associate Member of
Beauregard Bald Mtn. Black
McCarthy Ranch Branciforte
Muns Vineyard ------------------------------
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
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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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,
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.
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
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).
Jose Mercury News, Nov. 6, 2013, "Santa Cruz Mountains winemakers can
thank Mother Nature for this year's bountiful grape crop", by Shannon Burkey.
& 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
"totally jazzed about this year's vintage,"...
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel's Ag Almanac, May 19, 2013:
story on our
sustainable vineyard practices in the Santa Cruz Mountains, by Justine
- 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
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
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
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
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
Secretary: June Salsbury
Past Presidents: Prudy Foxx,
- Media Contact
- Mary Lindsay
- Postal address
- P.O. Box 8092, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-8092
- Electronic mail
- General Information: