Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Editor's Letter

 

Benefits of Science and Technology

March 2010
 
by Jim Gordon
 
 
Everybody loves the image of the little old vigneron trudging through his vineyard in the spring, beret on his head and hoe in his hand, sniffing the air for rain, making mental notes on the health of his vines, one by one, as he envisions the rich harvest to come in September.

As you know, however, there is a lot more to it than that. Admittedly, a lifetime spent farming the same plot of land would give a grower a big advantage. He would know the sections prone to drought, could follow the progress of disease across the vineyard, could estimate crop loads pretty accurately based on memory, and so on.

But that semi-mythical grapegrower of yore, I am sure, would have welcomed the kind of technological help available to vineyard owners and managers today. He could have learned as much in a few years as it may have taken decades to do with just his five senses.

This annual issue on Vineyard Equipment & Technology has several great examples of the benefits brought to winegrapes by science and technology. The cover story by Linda Jones McKee about bird netting is one example. Nets are not high tech, but they are definitely tech. The current lightweight versions are better than ever. Jones McKee also details how the equipment to apply and remove the nets has been improved by supplier companies and do-it-yourself growers.

Jon Tourney’s detailed report on the European grapevine moth’s invasion of Napa Valley is a good example of how science can quickly show the way to identify and manage a vine pest. Ag officials from Napa County, state and federal agencies organized a timely and detailed one-day seminar about the moth, which gave Tourney much of his information for this helpful report. Local growers and the viticulture establishment got this moth in their sights quickly, thanks to years of research in other areas and the rapid communication available today.

Beneficial insects or, more accurately, the plants that beneficials are attracted to, are the subject of Gaylene Ewing’s article about cover crops. Here is a classic case of field research that was simple in concept but yielded potentially very useful results. Ewing, with the Central Coast Vineyard Team, helped Ridge Vineyards as part of its integrated pest management program to see which approach to cover crops attracted the most “good” insects and the fewest pests.

You might think there’s nothing high-tech about an end post, but if you saw the variety of posts being used in Europe you might think differently. Peter Mitham came back from the SIMEI equipment show in Milan with a report on alternatives to wooden posts that bears reading for the probable day to come when wood becomes too expensive. From a sustainability/carbon footprint point of view, concrete, plastic and steel may be in your future.

One guy who actively embraces the latest equipment and technology for vineyards is Paul Johnson, the Monterey County, Calif., vineyard manager who Laurie Daniel interviewed for this month’s grapegrower Q & A. From mechanical pruning and leafing to a new electrostatic sprayer, Johnson puts it all to use in his clients’ vineyards, saving money while apparently maintaining or improving fruit quality compared to more traditional labor-intensive practices. Read the interview to get a sense of whether or not your own operation would benefit from more sophisticated technology.

Technology may be very useful in the vineyard, but what is its cost for the environment? Our long-time Vineyard View columnist, Cliff Ohmart, dissects the concept of a carbon neutral vineyard and what it takes to earn this status. Hint: Money is involved, not just good farming.

This issue is not totally dedicated to grapegrowing, however. Our Inquiring Winemaker, Tim Patterson, re-examines lees filtration in light of new equipment that helps recover more wine. Clark Smith writes his third Postmodern Winemaking column for Wines & Vines, explaining why micro-oxygenation is such a valuable tool and how to assess the equipment you need to apply it.

Here’s to the beginning of a new growing season! I hope that your buds don’t break until after the last frost, and that you enjoy this issue of Wines & Vines.

 
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  
July 2014 $557 million
5%
$7,577 million
6%
July 2013 $533 million $7,128 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $61 million
9%
$1,674 million
10%
July 2013 $56 million $1,517 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 312
10%
222
19%
July 2013 283 187
     
 
MORE » Released on 08.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • September 5-6
     
    Windy City Wine Festival
     
  • September 11
     
    Women for WineSense "Women in Wine"
     
  • September 12
     
    Direct to Consumer Wine Sales
     
  • September 18-21
     
    Euphoria
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Ledger David names first winemaker »
 
What a joy to have Kiley on the team! A lot of exciting things happening...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Useful Spanish for Wine Harvest »
 
you misspelled "zona" under Loading Area
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Early 2014 Grape Harvest Begins »
 
Thanks for mentioning Temecula and the South Coast appellation in your article. It is great...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 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
 Urban Winery Seeking B...
 Denver, CO
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Office And Marketing C...
 St. Helena, CA
General Administration and
 Senior Brand Manager-K...
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Account Manager
 Central Coast, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Cellar Harvest Help
 Calistoga, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wedding And Events Man...
 San Martin, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Fine Wine And Craft Sp...
 Park City-Slc, UT
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Sales Representat...
 Northern Virginia, VA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room & Event S...
 Peconic, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales Representative
 Daly City, CA
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.