Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Editor's Letter

 

West Coast Drought Watch, Episode 3

April 2014
 
by Jim Gordon
 
 

When the week I am writing this began, rain had been in the forecast for five days, due to arrive where I live in Napa, Calif., on Monday morning, March 10.

This would have been great: another nice boost for irrigation ponds and watersheds. We’d already had two rain events in the previous month. A third might mean that the previously declared drought of 2014 was just a scare.

On Sunday evening, right on cue, clouds moved in. The air felt heavy and cool. Surely rain was on its way. Maybe even snow. It smelled like that. At 6 a.m. Monday morning, I stepped outside as the wind picked up and I felt a few drops coming down. Then? Nothing. It stopped before it really started.

Instead, a strong wind blew for two days, accompanied by a clearing trend. Other areas nearby did get some rain, but not nearly enough. Rain totals in North Coast areas of California now average only 35% of the typical rainfall for this time of year.

This issue is basically Episode 3 of the West Coast Drought Watch. Again, we have good advice and up-to-date research to help affected vineyard owners and managers deal with a shortage of water for frost protection and irrigation.

Viticulture during drought
Particularly relevant is Glenn McGourty’s Grounded Grapegrowing column about “Vineyard Irrigation With a Limited Supply of Water.” McGourty, who is the winegrowing advisor for Mendocino and Lake counties from the University of California Cooperative Extension, looks at water use for each growth stage of the vine.

He splits the growing season into six stages, from early spring dormancy all the way to leaf fall, and discusses what steps a grower can take to conserve water in general while applying it as necessary during the various phases. He consulted five viticulturists in Australia who worked through that country’s severe drought in 2006-07 and interpreted their experiences for use here.

Fruit set to véraison requires 35% of total water use, and véraison to harvest requires another 36%, according to the Australian experience. Other stages need some water, too, but those just before and after véraison are the critical ones, he writes.

In the Practical Winery & Vineyard section, the article “Role of Soil Moisture at Bud Break” by Hemant Gohil looks closely at spring sap flow and what it says about the vine’s water needs. He reports on a study from Washington State University.

Another article in the PWV section, “Improving Management of Grape Powdery Mildew With New Tools and Knowledge,” is possibly the biggest contribution to knowledge in this issue. The report by six researchers from four states covers nine pages and includes nine photos, graphs and illustrations. The article shows the value of trapping and mapping powdery mildew spores to better understand how the pest travels.

Non-barrel oak products
This is our ninth annual Oak Alternatives Issue, in which we step back and look at the overall progress of oak products that are meant to be used with or without traditional barrels, as well as describe what’s new and effective among these products.

Inquiring Winemaker columnist Tim Patterson assesses the big picture in his commentary piece that asks the question: “Will Barrels go the Way of Floppy Disks?”

Yes, he acknowledges that barrels have hundreds of years of tradition on their side, but this inquiring winemaker wonders if they are worth the money and the trouble when barrel alternatives work just as well for the majority of wines.

Associate editor Andrew Adams looked at what’s new in form and function among the dozens of oak products. Readers who work in the cellar will especially welcome changes in the way oak adjuncts are shaped and packaged to make the oak easier to measure and mix in with must or wine.

A year of Practical information
This issue also marks the first anniversary of the merger of Practical Winery & Vineyard with Wines & Vines. The idea was to add the technical, often research-oriented viticulture and enology articles for which PWV has long been known, to the news, metrics and regionally oriented how-to service articles that have been Wines & Vines’ bread and butter.

We think it’s a good combination and value the addition of PWV editor Don Neel, who brings a generation of experience to our pages, as well as his stellar team of contributors from several continents.

Final thought: As you read this Episode 3 of the Drought-Watch, I will repeat the advice from last month: Conserve Water, Drink Wine!

 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $570 million
6%
$7,775 million
6%
October 2013 $539 million $7,342 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $284 million
18%
$1,751 million
13%
October 2013 $240 million $1,556 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 139
6%
226
18%
October 2013 131 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 11.13.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • November 16-23
     
    San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival
     
  • November 19-23
     
    Flavor! Napa Valley
     
  • November 24-25
     
    World Bulk Wine Exhibition
     
  • December 2-4
     
    Vinitech Sifel in Bordeaux
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Kluge Saga Continues in Virginia »
 
Not everybody likes Pat Kluge, but she and Moses built a first class winery /...
Reader: Josh Moser
 
Article: Canada Adapts to Kegged Wines »
 
I am a wine agent in Manitoba & there certainly are kegs of cider here....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Salesperson/Sales Mana...
 Chicago, IL
Sales and Marketing
 Regional Manager, Mo/K...
 St.Louis Or Kansas City, Mo. (Virtual), MO
Sales and Marketing
 Production Enologist
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Tasting Room Associate
 Angwin, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Viticulturist 1 (Grape...
 Modesto, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Assistant Winemaker
 Healdsburg, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Cellar Worker 3
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Market Sales Manager
 San Diego, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Pernod Ricard Retail A...
 Cheyenne, WY
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Consultants
 Fairfield & New Haven Counties, CT
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.