Archive: Vineyard Info

How Does Your Safety Program “Pair” With Your Workers?

With the intensity of the wine season gearing up and peak times just around the corner, how prepared are you to protect the health and safety of your workers? Protecting your employees is crucial to attaining your orchard and vineyard goals and having a successful operation. Having a solid and functioning safety plan in force results in better productivity, enables your workers to thrive and contribute to the performance of your business.  A good safety program is a win –win for everyone! Regardless of the size of your operation, it is your responsibility as an employer, to have a safety program in place.  Depending on the size of your operation, your safety program may be informal or it may need […]

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Plant Patents in the Wine Industry

When most people think of patents, they think of new machines, new medicines, or improved manufacturing processes.  These inventions are protected by “utility patents.”  Some people may also be familiar with “design patents,” which protect a novel ornamental design, such as the front grill of a luxury car.  But, there is a third class of patents with which most people are unfamiliar, “plant patents.”  As the name suggests, plant patents protect new plant varieties, such as a new strain of wine grape vine. Not all plants are eligible for patent protection, however.  United States Code, Title 35, Section 161 provides that: “[w]hoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, […]

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Grapevine Leafroll Disease Management and Control in Vineyards

After writing about the presentations at the Unified Symposium last January I promised I would write an article that focuses on the control of the spread of leafroll viruses in the vineyard.  Transmission and spread of leafroll viruses have been documented in all grape growing areas worldwide.  Specifically, leafroll disease has been reported spread in Australia, Argentina, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, and other important viticulture areas in the world. Different types of mealybugs and soft scale insects can transmit some species of leafroll virus and Vitiviruses. However, long distance dispersion of viruses (as well as other pathogens) is most effective by producing cuttings and grafting.  If you follow my work, you know that I recommend that you plant […]

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Smoke Taint

Wildfires have become an increasing problem in recent years, with many occurring in various wine-growing areas throughout the world. Aside from causing loss of life and extensive property damage, the wildfires pose a risk of smoke exposure to grapes in the vineyard, which can lead to off-flavors in the wine. This condition is known as smoke taint. Smoke taint is created by volatile phenols in smoke that permeate the grape skin and bind with sugar in the grape to form organic compounds called glycosides. This process, known as glycosylation, makes the phenols non-volatile, meaning you cannot smell or taste the smokiness. However, during fermentation, the glycosides break apart and release the now-volatile phenols into the wine, making smoke-tainted flavors perceptible. […]

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Priming Your Irrigation Systems for the Season (Part 2)

In the May-June issue of The Grapevine Magazine, a savvy group of experts provided detailed information about irrigation system maintenance. That article outlined seasonal start-up and troubleshooting tips. For part two of this topic, we’ll move on to ongoing system checks, typical problems often overlooked, monitoring water flow and quality and critter control. Once again, our experts are: Guy Fipps, Ph.D., P.E., professor and extension specialist of irrigation and water management at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; in collaboration with Charles Swanson, extension program specialist, Texas A&M University. Jacob Hernandez, CCA, owner, JH Ag Consulting, Santa Margarita, California; in collaboration with James Anshutz, AGH20, irrigation engineer with Netafim USA in Fresno, California; and the Cal Poly SLO Irrigation Training […]

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Vineyard Technology & Equipment

At the moment a bottle of wine is uncorked and poured, the labor and innovation of the equipment industry helping to bring that wine from vineyard to table becomes inextricably tied to the end product consumers enjoy.  Across the United States, vineyards are dependent upon their equipment suppliers to provide them with the latest technology and product support  to keep costs down and produce a high-yield, high-quality harvest. Take, for example, Progressive Ag, Inc., of Modesto, California, whose company history  reflects a cutting-edge approach to the design and manufacturing of sprayers used before harvest time.  Mark Ryckman, Progressive Ag sales manager and co-owner, keeps a close eye on technology focused on improving crop yield for his customers. “New mapping software […]

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STVM® WASHDOWN STATION COMBINES STEAM, WATER, AND SAFETY IN AN EASY TO MAINTAIN PACKAGE

(Warminster, PA USA) In food processing, dairy, beverage, chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical facilities maintaining a clean environment is critical. High temperature washdown equipment is used to quickly and efficiently clean and sanitize equipment in place to keep production running on time. These washdown stations mix steam and cold water to provide hot water for facility clean up.   Maintaining competitor washdown units can be time consuming due to complex disassembly, special tooling requirements, and non-reusable components. ThermOmegaTech®, a leader in self-actuating thermostatic valve technology, supplies an innovative solution to the challenge of difficult to maintain washdown units.   ThermOmegaTech®’s STVM® Washdown Station delivers a high temperature wash at a user-defined temperature using our proprietary Silent Venturi Mixing Valve (STVM®) to […]

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The Scott Henry Training System; Easy to Learn, And a Route to Improved Profitability & Wine Quality

  We wrote this article to promote the use of the Scott Henry training system in vineyard regions of North America; for reasons which we do not completely understand the system has been overlooked,  under-researched and also under-promoted. For those growers who use this system, mostly overseas, the benefits are substantial. They might be summarised as improved yield and fruit composition and reduced disease incidence. Wine quality is also improved. The system is not difficult to manage, contrary to some rumours in this regard. It is a matter of learning new tricks, mostly about timing, so not too difficult for commercial grape growers. For those growers prepared to try new ideas, you will be rewarded, and the winemakers (and bank […]

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Viticulture in Argentina & Chile from a Plant Pathologist Perspective

  This year I was invited to speak at different events organized by the Chilean Nursery Association (AGV) and Wines of Chile. While in Chile, I attended the 19th Congress of the International Council for the study of virus and virus-like diseases of the grapevine (ICVG). The ICVG meeting was held and hosted in Viña Santa Carolina Winery facilities near Santiago.  While I was traveling in South America, I had an opportunity to visit vineyards in Argentina and Chile.  Today I will share information I learned about winegrowing in Argentina and Chile.  As you know my interests are in grapevine diseases, how to prevent disease development and spread in the vineyard.   So, it will not be surprising that this article […]

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Priming Your Irrigation Systems for the Season (Part 1)

Irrigation system maintenance is a vast topic of discussion—so much so, to do this article, we needed a team of experts to address it—in two parts. Mark Hewitt, the district sales manager for the ag products division of Rain Bird Corporation in Azusa, California, put it this way: “These are huge topics! People write books about these subjects! 1,500 words? Good luck!”  Yet we understand it’s essential to initiate an open forum periodically to ask about research, various applications or innovations that might help keep your system—and the entire growing season—flowing smoothly. In the first part of this story, the experts provide tips for what you may need to know immediately to start operations and remedy any issues. In the […]

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