Saving Old Vineyards - Economics vs Heritage

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Drew Goin
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Saving Old Vineyards - Economics vs Heritage

#1 Post by Drew Goin » February 13th, 2018, 8:37 pm

As I finished my wish-list for the current (Feb 2018) release from Bedrock Wine Company, I took a moment to re-watch Mr Morgan Twain-Peterson's video for the vineyard restoration of the Casa Santinamaria Vineyard on the winery's website.



I have read several articles, meeting notes from city councils, etc, about the continuing struggle to preserve old-vine sites across the West Coast. At some point:

• The encroachment of commercial development threatens countless vineyards of merit (Contra Costa);

• The diminishing returns of ancient viticultural sites fail to merit keeping vines in the ground (Lodi and elsewhere);

• The commodity value of wine grapes fail to keep pace with other agricultural products (San Joaquin and elsewhere).

I will share some resources that present some of the challenges of keeping old vines in the ground.

I will also use this thread to find a home for cool documents found online, some recent and some old, that shed light on the philosophical value of grape-growing properties.


My greatest purpose behind creating this thread is to attempt to paint a picture of both sides of the argument. I am not a land owner, and I hope to gain a better understanding of what the unsung heroes of winemaking experience when faced with the dilemma of uprooting a generational time capsule or sacrificing the current crop for one that pays the bills.
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Vineyard Removal
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I invite all input from fellow Berserkers. :) I do not live anywhere near these battle zones; any of my efforts in presenting a complete picture will obviously fail.
Last edited by Drew Goin on November 21st, 2018, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by M. Dildine » February 13th, 2018, 9:01 pm

Drew, you've basically framed the dilemma very well. Old vines are less productive, more expensive to maintain and often don't hold the highest demand/price grape varieties of the moment. They are constantly threatened by market factors - urban sprawl, disease, fragility and old age, changing tastes, ect.

The question is - why are they allowed to exist at all (some here in California for over 120 years)? Ultimately because they are found, over the decades, to produce exceptionaly distinctive wines that have touched an appreciative audience.

A really informative video by Morgan. I look forward to the discussion on this thread!
Cheers,

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#3 Post by Drew Goin » February 13th, 2018, 9:49 pm

M. Dildine wrote: The question is - why are they allowed to exist at all (some here in California for over 120 years)? Ultimately because they are found, over the decades, to produce exceptionaly distinctive wines that have touched an appreciative audience.

I look forward to the discussion on this thread!
Thanks, Mike!

Just as the "Mourvedre Appreciation" thread should probably be run by Larry or Hardy, I think this thread should be your baby! ;)

Then again, you have addressed this topic many times in prior posts.
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Old Vineyard
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I recently read the second assertion by Mr Paul Draper of Ridge that a vineyard having reached a certain age does not necessarily guarantee that it did so solely on the quality of its fruit. Once, he was being interviewed for a Wine & Spirits cover story defending the merits of newer planted Zinfandel sites; I am trying to recall the more recent instance - my brain fails me at the moment.

I don't blindly subscribe to the idea that all old vineyards are great, nor do I consider younger vineyards to be worthy of less esteem.

That being said, it is probably safe to say that I agree with you 99.9% of the time. Otherwise, this thread wouldn't exist! :)

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#4 Post by Anton D » February 13th, 2018, 10:00 pm

Great topic, thank you, Drew!

I favor preserving the heritage and variety these “ancient” vineyards offer us.

There may be a compromise somewhere.

When we lived in the bay area we were members of the Marin area land trust. Also known as MALT.

This trust pays dairies and other agricultural concerns market equivalent development prices and in return the owners agree to maintain the area in its agricultural context.

The owners get cash, an opportunity to add a cheese making facility, etc. and we get to keep a valued part of the area and allow for the ongoing success of the landowners.

I would be more than happy to pony up contributions to an organization that did something like that regarding the preservation of ancient and heirloom vineyards.
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#5 Post by Eric Ifune » February 14th, 2018, 12:34 pm

Nonfarm value of land is a huge determinant. If the land is worth five times as much as a shopping center, then it's likely to become a shopping center.

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#6 Post by Richard Albert » February 14th, 2018, 5:28 pm

$100 ancient vineyard Zins/field blends coming?
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#7 Post by Bill S. » February 14th, 2018, 6:10 pm

When I visited Sonoma and Napa lo these many years ago I knew of one vineyard that had a "old" vine parcel. Kunde estates at that time had a block of their vineyard with 120 year old zin vines (don't know if they still do) and you had to be in their wine club to get any of it as production was like 60 cases. I also talked to Paul Sabon who had some 50+ year old vines in Armador. As far as I remember all the owners/winemakers basicly said that the lower yields precluded them from saving anything basicly over 20 years old.

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#8 Post by Drew Goin » February 17th, 2018, 5:17 am

Bill, I am 99% certain that Kunde's Shaw Vineyard still is producing old Zinfandel.

I think Sobon still has some old vineyards kicking around...

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#9 Post by Drew Goin » February 17th, 2018, 5:46 am

SF Chronicle
"Vintners Rally to Preserve Russian River Valley’s Historic Zinfandel Vineyards"
by Esther Mobley
August 9, 2017

As pointed out in this article, some old vineyards have been saved by the work of individuals (ie Mike Officer) who appreciate the historical value of 100-year-old plantings. Of course, in the Piner-Olivet area, a Zin/mixed blacks site can be turned into a housing division or, just as likely, be replanted to more valuable grape varieties, like Pinot Noir.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/wine/articl ... o-13632498

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#10 Post by Drew Goin » February 19th, 2018, 6:16 am

This article by Mr Randy Caparoso, as well as its follow-up, hit the nail on the head regarding the challenges of keeping old vineyards in the ground:

Lodi Wine Grape Commission blog post:
"Last Rites for Lodi's Old Vine Growths"
by Randy Caparoso
September 15, 2017

"Last week, half-way through the frantic (aren’t they all?) 2017 harvest, Mr. [Kevin] Phillips [Vice President of Operations for Lodi’s wildly successful Michael David Winery and its agricultural arm, Phillips Farms] took the time to send out an FYI, saying: 'I think a lot of old vine zins will be getting yanked out of the ground this year, mostly due to labor shortages. Lodi will obviously be ground zero for this phenomenon. This is living history being demolished; the very story that actually helps Lodi attract media attention.'

"...Aaron Shinn, Vineyard Manager for Lodi’s Round Valley Ranches, tells us, 'This is a shared concern of mine.... but the removal of these heritage blocks is the unfortunate collateral damage of the current business climate in California. The bottom line is, as a grower, you have to be paid an ever-increasing premium to justify the rising expense and low yield of old head trained vines.'

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Torn-out Lodi Vineyard
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"Vino Farms LLC Vice President Craig Ledbetter agrees; telling us: 'This is a revenue issue. You cannot continue to farm these old blocks of Zinfandel that do not produce at a level that keeps price sustainable. Today the Zinfandel market is struggling, and growers cannot afford to farm at 3-5 tons/acre because the total revenue per acre is not a return that keeps growers in business. At the end of the day, we growers farm to make a living, not break even or even lose money.'

"...The long, productive, close working relationship between Lodi growers and giant sized, value wine producers may, in fact, may be the region’s undoing. Tegan Passalacqua – the Winemaker/Manager of Turley Wine Cellars as well as owner of his own Kirschenmann Vineyard on Lodi’s east side – minces no words in saying: 'The loss of old vine vineyards is not just a labor issue. I don’t want to name names, but this is really on the big wineries who are offering just $550/ton, whereas just a few years ago they were offering $900/ton plus bonuses for hand picked, old vine Zinfandel.

“'This year I’ve heard that some growers were dropped by the big guys because they wouldn’t take their low-ball offerings. I know Kevin Phillips picked up some of those vineyards after contracts were dropped. Michael David pays considerably more, but they can’t ‘save’ all of them. So I can understand Kevin’s frustration.'
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Turley's Tegan Passalacqua in his Kirschenmann Vineyard
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"The issue, says Passalacqua, is also a 'grape/bottle price ratio' that simply doesn’t work for old vine plantings going into wines selling for less than $10/bottle. 'The thing is,' says Passalcqua, '$550/ton is maybe a break-even point for Lodi growers. When yields are less than 5 tons, like many were this year, it’s a loss. The problem is that big wineries that have had a lock on many of Lodi’s old vines just don’t value them the way we do in, say, Napa Valley. Many of the winemakers and vineyard managers who work for the big wineries may care deeply about old vines and growers in Lodi, but not their CFOs. Ironically, of course, if Lodi loses most of these old vineyards, what’s left of them will finally become valuable.

“'In Napa, for instance, you can no longer find Zinfandel, old or young, for even $5,000/ton. It’s impossible, as much as wineries like Robert Biale and Turley are willing to pay for them. If that happens to Lodi, I guarantee a lot of growers who tore out their old vines will kick themselves in the pants later. Maybe Lodi as a community needs to work harder on finding wineries outside the region who can appreciate the old vines a little more – before it’s too late.'"[/i]

http://www.lodiwine.com/?method=blog.bl ... ne-growths

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#11 Post by Sean Devaney » February 19th, 2018, 10:04 am

Thanks for starting this thread Drew! I can't help but think of Santa Clara Valley that was once an argeciltur paradise but now has been paved over. Will be watching this closely.

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#12 Post by M. Dildine » February 19th, 2018, 10:20 am

Sean Devaney wrote:Thanks for starting this thread Drew! I can't help but think of Santa Clara Valley that was once an argeciltur paradise but now has been paved over. Will be watching this closely.
Yep, I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley and remember when the valley was rich with vineyards and orchards. In the words of Joni Mitchell, "they paved paradise ... "
Cheers,

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#13 Post by Tom Lee » February 19th, 2018, 10:45 am

M. Dildine wrote:
Sean Devaney wrote:Thanks for starting this thread Drew! I can't help but think of Santa Clara Valley that was once an argeciltur paradise but now has been paved over. Will be watching this closely.
Yep, I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley and remember when the valley was rich with vineyards and orchards. In the words of Joni Mitchell, "they paved paradise ... "
I grew up in Orange County when there were still a fair number of orange groves.

http://www.latimes.com/local/orangecoun ... story.html

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#14 Post by Ken Zinns » February 19th, 2018, 3:52 pm

Sean Devaney wrote:Thanks for starting this thread Drew! I can't help but think of Santa Clara Valley that was once an argeciltur paradise but now has been paved over. Will be watching this closely.
So much depends on location and pressure from housing development. Vineyards (both old and not-that-old) are under far more pressure in places like Santa Clara Valley, Livermore Valley, Contra Costa, etc. than they are in the Sierra Foothills, for example. We lost a Santa Clara Valley Vineyard west of Gilroy where Bryan Harrington was buying some very nice Fiano, Teroldego, and Lagrein a few years ago to housing development. Parts of Russian River Valley are under increasing pressure from development. Randy Caparoso brought up the labor issue in his article on Lodi, and I imagine it must apply to other regions as well. I've heard that more growers are going to machine harvesting as the only way to keep their vineyards economically viable. Certainly some vineyard owners have an attachment to their land and would like to pass it down to their children, but if their kids are grown and don't have any interest, how do you convince someone to continue farming a vineyard that gets marginal returns vs. selling to a developer for lots of cash?
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#15 Post by Wes Barton » February 19th, 2018, 4:53 pm

"The issue, says Passalacqua, is also a 'grape/bottle price ratio' that simply doesn’t work for old vine plantings going into wines selling for less than $10/bottle. 'The thing is,' says Passalcqua, '$550/ton is maybe a break-even point for Lodi growers. When yields are less than 5 tons, like many were this year, it’s a loss. The problem is that big wineries that have had a lock on many of Lodi’s old vines just don’t value them the way we do in, say, Napa Valley. Many of the winemakers and vineyard managers who work for the big wineries may care deeply about old vines and growers in Lodi, but not their CFOs. Ironically, of course, if Lodi loses most of these old vineyards, what’s left of them will finally become valuable.

“'In Napa, for instance, you can no longer find Zinfandel, old or young, for even $5,000/ton. It’s impossible, as much as wineries like Robert Biale and Turley are willing to pay for them. If that happens to Lodi, I guarantee a lot of growers who tore out their old vines will kick themselves in the pants later. Maybe Lodi as a community needs to work harder on finding wineries outside the region who can appreciate the old vines a little more – before it’s too late.'"
There's certainly interest. There's a bit of that going on down in Monterrey County where fruit from the huge vineyards all went to mega wineries. Now people are parsing out the best blocks to make better, higher priced wine out of. Large growers in Lodi could do that. Demand has been growing for heritage vine fruit. They could put some effort into finding out what smaller hipster wineries want and what they'll pay before just ripping everything out. Also, small hipster wineries doing an SVD can put their vineyard on the map and grow demand for their fruit (and help boost the whole region).
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#16 Post by Anton D » February 19th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Ken Zinns wrote:....how do you convince someone to continue farming a vineyard that gets marginal returns vs. selling to a developer for lots of cash?
http://www.malt.org/protected/stubbs-ranch?
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#17 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 19th, 2018, 5:01 pm

Kudos to Morgan and others that are preserving the wine agricultural history of California. Perhaps as much romance as anything, but I feel and sense a difference in these old vine heritage blends. I will happily pay more, and do, for them.

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#18 Post by Ken Zinns » February 19th, 2018, 10:21 pm

Anton D wrote:
Ken Zinns wrote:....how do you convince someone to continue farming a vineyard that gets marginal returns vs. selling to a developer for lots of cash?
http://www.malt.org/protected/stubbs-ranch?
I know Stubbs Ranch and have visited Mary Stubbs there. But the effectiveness of an organization like MALT (which does a terrific job of helping to preserve land for agricultural use in West Marin) is an exception rather than the rule, and Stubbs Vineyard is not really a prime spot for development in any case - it's pretty far out in the sticks. It's not exactly a heritage vineyard either, planted in 1996.

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#19 Post by Drew Goin » February 19th, 2018, 11:40 pm

M. Dildine wrote:
Sean Devaney wrote:Thanks for starting this thread Drew! I can't help but think of Santa Clara Valley that was once an argeciltur paradise but now has been paved over. Will be watching this closely.
Yep, I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley and remember when the valley was rich with vineyards and orchards. In the words of Joni Mitchell, "they paved paradise ... "
Santa Clara Valley's Silicon Valley is home to more than just technological innovations (be it hardware or, increasingly, software). There are more Superfund sites in the county than any other - 23!

Map Musings blog
"The Swarming of Silicon Valley, CA"

"...The expanding commute times and density of office space have replaced whatever image of a 'Valley of Heart’s Delight' in which technical expertise could flourish with only apparent pollution-free production of integrated circuits whose plenty replaced its formerly legendary past agricultural wealth–
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Historic San Jose
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- to a not so bucolic region whose landscape can barely conceal its haunting by 23 superfund sites, toxic waste, overcrowded paved arteries, or bleak landscape of grim skies where trees poke through corporate campuses that even the best architectural romanticized futuristic rendering of Google’s new campus can barely disguise. The ever-expanded economy as retained its metaphorical toponym, but almost fully obliterated the abundance valley of the past with an entirely new sort of techno-fertility."[/i]
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Silicon Valley
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#20 Post by Drew Goin » February 20th, 2018, 12:09 am

Lodi Wine Grape Commission
"What Lodi Can Do to Slow Down the Loss of Old Vine Plantings"
by Randy Caparoso
October 6, 2016
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Dead Vine from Noma Vineyard
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"Last week the Executive Board of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association (LDGGA) came together, and one of the topics addressed was Lodi’s continuous loss of heritage plantings. According to LDGGA’s Executive Director Amy Blagg: 'We realize that increased pull-outs of head-trained vines is part of the cyclical nature of agriculture, and the decisions growers face are difficult ones. To break this cycle, we think we need to do more to promote Lodi’s old vine Zinfandel, its history, and what makes these vineyards special.'

Blagg goes on to suggest: 'Perhaps LDGGA and the Lodi Winegrape Commission can coordinate a survey to compile a history of the region’s historic plantings. On our part, we can share family stories, the unique qualities, and help our consumers better connect with the old vines that make Lodi special. The mission of LDGGA is to work with elected officials and share the impact of legislation and regulation. We can work with elected officials to show how the laws and regulations they impose directly influence the availability and cost of labor, thereby exerting these changes in our agricultural landscape. We can share how policies such as the Estate Tax, for example, impede families from passing on properties from generation to generation.'

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Lodi Winegrape Commission Program Director Stuart Spencer with Historic Vineyard Society sign
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Here are some suggested tactics addressed in the article to add value to the at-risk old vineyards. I think these are good, but probably not very original. Please let me know what you think!

• Map out vineyards of distinction to increase recognition

• Establish concrete parameters for what "old" means throughout Lodi's viticultural region

• Promote a collective agreement between growers and winemakers for reasonable prices (value by acreage, not yield)

• Lodi could host a yearly "Zinfandel Technical Conference, in which Zinfandel growers and specialty winemakers, as well as media and trade, plus consumers from all over the state (and beyond) come together to taste, discuss, self-assess, and learn more about Zinfandel viticulture and winemaking."

• Host an annual Lodi “Old Vine Picnic”, attracting locals and other wine lovers

• Post signs identifying vineyards that meet HVS/old-vine criteria

Do you have any ideas that could aid in the preservation of old-vine plantings?

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#21 Post by Drew Goin » February 21st, 2018, 5:02 am

Thanks, Tom, Mike, Sean, Ken, and Robert!

I think that y'all are all touching the roots of the issue here. Some of your suggestions and examples are echoed in Caparoso's follow-up article (above) on saving the vineyards of Lodi.

Yes, some orange trees still grow in Orange County, but that's hardly the dominant feature of the area (my brain casts back to the images of "Chinatown" and "The Two Jakes" - "This whole area used to be orange groves").

The waxing/waning of the grape market is a strange thing that we wine buyers may never fully grasp. Consider this article from 1996...

"Old-Vine Wines: In Praise of Reds: Savoring the Taste of Tradition Among Sonoma County's Time-Honored Wines"*
By Steve Bjerklie

"It seems probable a few of the portion of those 43 million vines from 1873 that were planted in Sonoma County might have survived. If so, they're likely to be discovered soon. Prices for grapes from old vines have increased dramatically, especially for zinfandel. 'When we sold the grapes to Christian Brothers for $35 a ton, my dad said we had to go into the wine business,' remembers Harry Parducci. 'There was no way to make money in grapes at $35 a ton. Now the price is way up there, over a thousand a ton. I can hardly believe it. But I think it does these old grapes‡ right.'"

The link in the original article reveals several contemporary examples of old-vine Zinfandel wines, as well as some other bottlings made from other old vineyard fruit. Some of these vineyards no longer exist. :(

Many old-vine plantings across the state have attained sufficient public adoration to ensure their short-term future. I wonder what it takes to achieve the level of prestige enjoyed by famous sites like the Old Hill Vineyard, the Jackass Hill Vineyard, or even the Evangelho Vineyard.

How many vintages from how many wineries are needed to make a viticultural site valuable enough to keep in the ground?


* The focus of this article is on the boom that old-vine Zinfandel vineyards - particularly Sonoma County sites - were experiencing in the '90s. A few of California's Zin winemakers are highlighted, including Joel Peterson of Ravenswood, Gordon Binz of Renwood, Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum, and Harry Parducci of Valley of the Moon, are featured. Even Sean Thackery, whose blends showcase non-Zin old vineyard fruit, gets to share his praise on the merits of ancient plantings.

‡ Is Mr Harry Parducci speaking of what would become the Bedrock Vineyard?

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#22 Post by Drew Goin » February 26th, 2018, 12:41 pm

I found a cool website called Eve101, which includes several Historic Vineyard Society event reports (written by Eve Bushman or Michael Perlis):

http://evewine101.com/tag/historic-vineyard-society


Also...

From the "Winter 2017 Historic Vineyard Society Newsletter":

"Shop using AmazonSmile, where .5% of every eligible order will be donated to HVS. To get started, visit smile.amazon.com, then search for and select Historic Vineyard Society. Every penny counts!"

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#23 Post by Drew Goin » February 28th, 2018, 4:42 pm

I received an email from Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) with this article mentioned:

Washington Post
"How Can Producers Secure Zinfandel’s Future? By Looking to the Past."
by Dave McIntyre
February 23, 2018

The Heritage Vineyard Project was started in 1995. Cuttings from 90 old-vine vineyards from across California were initially selected for trials in an Oakville vineyard. That number went down to 20, then finally to 4:

• Moore
• Teldeschi
• Zeni
• Lytton

“'The differences among the four selections are subtle,' says Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood Winery and one of the most famous zin producers. (He is also Twain-Peterson’s father.) And the differences seem to be dependent on where the vines grow. 'We now know how zinfandel expresses itself and the important role site plays in that expression.'

"The answers aren’t yet definitive. 'We believe the Heritage Vineyard Project is 20 years into a hundred-year effort,' says Rebecca Robinson, ZAP’s executive director. 'Our goal is that zinfandel will thrive for many more generations, even though the original vineyards will one day be a distant memory.'"


The message seems to be that all the vineyards that many people are striving to preserve will one day be gone. The cuttings from those sites will ultimately represent the region's where they are propagated, via climate/geology/etc, nullifying any imprint of the original vineyard.

I feel a little fatalistic after reading this ashes-to-ashes article. :(
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#24 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 28th, 2018, 5:38 pm

I dunno, seems to me that the demand for heritage vine Zin is accelerating, and the era of preservation is now. Even this thread goes a long way toward that important goal. Think if this thread reaches five people, introduces them to something like Bedrock. And those five introduce heritage vineyard wines each to five others, and so on. I only see positive!

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#25 Post by Drew Goin » March 3rd, 2018, 1:48 pm

Two Older Articles on the Preservation of Old Vineyards:

SF Gate
"Saving California's Heritage, One Vine at a Time: Historic Vineyard Society's Mission is to Stop Uprooting the Past and to Start Protecting It"
by Jon Bonné
October 29, 2012


"Old buildings have historic protections, but no such thing exists for old vineyards. Many have been plowed under into subdivisions in recent years, although conservation measures in Napa County and Livermore protect agricultural land, and California's Williamson Act can provide tax relief to farmers.

"Those merely preserve land against development. Nothing, aside from a sense of history and potentially higher fruit prices, encourages owners to keep old roots in the soil, although the society's board, which also includes enthusiast Mike Dildine and writer Jancis Robinson, has discussed seeking tax breaks for heritage vineyard owners.

"...'Unfortunately, it does come down to economics. A grower will look at an old vineyard of his and say, "Well, I'm only getting 2 tons per acre and $4,000 a ton," explains [Mike] Officer. 'So a lot of time these vineyards are being preserved mostly because of emotional attachment.'

"...Even old vineyards need upkeep...Large stretches of missing vines haven't been replanted. Factor in the inevitable viruses that emerge - Petite Sirah is particularly vibrant with the crimson leaves that signal leafroll - and meager yields, and the economics become worrisome. Old farming families will put up with lesser returns but also are hesitant to invest in upkeep. So when the land is handed down, the next generation frequently sells it to new owners who inevitably plant something more lucrative.

"And, of course, vines can't last forever. That's why replacing individual vines is so crucial; it's a common process in European vineyards - and why, in the case of Library [Vineyard], Turley created a vine-by-vine replica on its nearby property, just in case the Library doesn't survive."

meadranch_blog-600x400.jpg
Mead Ranch vineyard
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SF Gate
"Assembly Votes to Honor Historic Vineyards"
By Jon Bonné
April 15, 2013

"Lawmakers approved the resolution, HR 9, on a voice vote, with no opposition. Proposed by Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, the move has solely symbolic value, but it is a significant step for vineyardists in the state who are hoping to keep antique vines in the ground.

"'California wine is a wonderful success story that is still proceeding,' said Daly, who introduced the resolution earlier this year. 'And many of the backstories are still being discovered and told. It’s as rich as anything in our state in terms of tradition.'

"Given the state’s fondness for frequent replanting, it can be harder than it might appear to preserve old vineyards. In 2010, several prominent vintners, including Ridge Vineyards and Turley Wine Cellars, created the nonprofit Historic Vineyard Society, in part to create a registry of more than 200 sites throughout California that date back as far as the 1880s, or earlier. Their hope is to find incentives to keep these old vines in the ground, perhaps a tax break, but the legislature’s vote is a first official step."

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#26 Post by dougwilder » March 3rd, 2018, 10:23 pm

This page from my website has been dormant on my for the last year or two and i just made it active again. Hope it adds to the discussion. Even the "Alien Autopsy- quality" video of my interview with Morgan Twain-Peterson shot in low light. http://www.purelydomesticwinereport.com ... d-society/
itb

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#27 Post by Drew Goin » March 4th, 2018, 12:20 am

Thanks, Doug!

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#28 Post by Drew Goin » March 4th, 2018, 10:04 pm

One way that prized old vineyards are lost is through natural disasters, like the fires that ravaged many regions of California in 2017.

Mendocino Wine & Winegrapes website
by Bernadette Byrne
"Mendocino County Redwood Complex Fire Impact"
October 11, 2017
Redwood Complex Fire Oct 11 2017.jpg
Redwood Complex Fire Zone (red) & Vineyards (dots)
Redwood Complex Fire Oct 11 2017.jpg (54.11 KiB) Viewed 2286 times
I have not read much on the specific vineyard losses in Mendocino County, but I encountered a couple of articles on the recovery efforts:

Press Democrat
"Hope and Loss Mark Recovery in Fire-Scarred Mendocino County"
by Paul Payne
March 3, 2018

All Press Democrat articles on the Sonoma/Napa/Mendocino Fires

There is no question that the loss of human lives is of greater importance than that of cultivated acreage. Nevertheless, if I wish to consider the different factors that threaten the viticultural heritage of America, the fires that recently struck the West Coast have a part in the story.

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#29 Post by Drew Goin » March 7th, 2018, 5:01 pm

One unusual method of preserving an important grape growing site is to manually transplant the numerous vines to a more commercially/geographically secure location.

As absurd as one might think this strategy, it has been done. One hundred year old vines in the Contra Costa city of Oakley were dug up, trucked a few blocks from their original home, and carefully replanted in a spot that was not at-risk for development in the foreseeable future.

East Bay Times
"Oakley Finds New Home for Century-Old Grapevines"
Rowena Coetsee
February 22, 2011

"Council members recently agreed to use a 5.7-acre parcel on Walnut Meadows Drive near the Vintage Parkway subdivision to preserve these [Alicante Bouschet] vines; on Tuesday, they voted to lease the property to a farm-management company that cultivates grapes.

"...It makes more sense to preserve the remaining vines in town than replace them with buildings and try to mitigate that loss by buying farmable acreage outside city limits, said
[Kevin] Romick, a member of the council’s agriculture mitigation subcommittee.

"...Once it has signed the 10-year lease, Mulehead Growers will have to act quickly; the vines will remain dormant for only another month,
[Alan] Lucchesi said.

As the days grow warmer, the plants become more sensitive to the shock of being uprooted, he said.

About 20 percent of grapevines that are transplanted don’t survive, and it takes at least one year for them to produce fruit again, City Manager Bryan Montgomery said."


Kevin Romick's Blog
"Saving Oakley’s Heritage"
March 31, 2011
image18.jpg
Uprooting the Ali Bou Vines
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This overview of the transplantation of the old DuPont site's Alicante Bouschet vines to the new Walnut Meadows Vineyard provides a more specific breakdown of the project.
image7.jpg
Preparation of the New Vineyard Site
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Replanting the Ali Bou Vines
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Finished Replanting of Oakley Vines
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Romick in Oakley blog
"Harvesting 100 year Old Vines"
September 19, 2012

"...Although there was a small harvest in the first year, about 2 tons, this year’s bounty was around 9 tons."

Do I believe that transplantation of an ancient vineyard is a viable, broad-scope solution to the problem of overcrowding due to residential/commercial development? No.

In fact, I never thought this sort of thing was possible before I read the articles and watched the video of the project!

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#30 Post by Drew Goin » March 8th, 2018, 7:02 pm

A recurring theme in the struggle to preserve family-owned old vineyards is the question of sustaining a legacy.

As folks try to pass on the torch to the new generation, often there is a reluctance among the children to adopt responsibility for a precarious source of income that accompanies a high level of work for ever-diminishing returns. It appears that it is becoming easier for the kids to seek a living somewhere else in a different field of labor.

Once a multi-generational chain of vineyard ownership/management is broken, the future of an ancient plot of grapevines is cast to the winds of fate.

Will the land be passed on to a new owner who wishes to protect the aged vineyard, or will it be purchased by an individual or company with different plans for the land?

Growing up in Northwest Louisiana, my best friend's family owned many acres of cotton fields, admittedly only since the early 1900's. The children were not interested in living out their days on the same property that they were raised. Though each sibling had spent years learning the in's and out's of the trade, the great big world was calling out to the three of them.

Though the number of small American farmers has been continually shrinking, some youths remain proud of carrying on the legacy of their forefathers, or are pursuing agriculture for the first time:


The Press
"Growing a New Generation of Farmers"
Amy Schrader
January 16, 2014

"...When [23-year-old Larry] Gaines, who started Brentwood’s Community Garden, met FGF’s [First Growth Farmers] co-founder Alli Cecchini, a fourth generation traditional farmer, the idea of combining traditional farming with urban-organic farming methods grew roots.
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First Generation Farmers
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"In October of 2012, Gaines started Brentwood’s Community Garden through his nonprofit organization Thirdeye Coalition. The garden space was donated to them by a nonprofit youth center called The House, located at 130 Sunrise Drive in Brentwood.

"In June of 2012, Gaines and Cecchini started FGF on 10 acres of land donated to them by Cecchini’s family.

"The Cecchini family started farming in Lucca, Italy in the late 1800s. When they moved to California in the early 1900s, they started growing asparagus. Bob and Barbara Cecchini, Alli’s parents, are the last asparagus growers in Contra Costa County.

“'We want our community to be involved with growing its food and helping its local economy,' says Gaines. 'We are losing too many farmers and think this is a great outlet for people of all ages to get connected not just to dirt and food, but to each other, the environment, society, agriculture, heritage, learning and teaching.'

"...The goal is to create a local community food system while growing a new generation of farmers. They not only cultivate and harvest organic specialty crops, but also teach people how to farm.

“...'Small family farms are becoming less and less prevalent in this country,' says Ron Enos, a fifth generation farmer in Brentwood. 'They are in the early stages of extinction.'"[/i]


This article doesn't tell of young men and women who are dedicated to viticulture, but there is a small population of Americans who are celebrating the heritage of grape-growing.

I was astounded at the story of the owners of Mendocino County's "Poor Farm".

Also, on social media, it is possible to see the promising signs of newer vineyard owners establishing new legacies in vineyard ownership and, in turn, preservation.
:)

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#31 Post by Drew Goin » March 14th, 2018, 7:48 pm

The economic aspect of growing winegrapes sometimes is not about heritage, a traditionally romantic lifestyle, or anything else but survival.

Western Farm Press
"Bulldozed Vineyards Yield Way to Almonds, Other Crops"
by Dennis Pollock
November 23, 2014

"Once again, bulldozers are rumbling through Central Valley vineyards in California taking out thousands of vines, just as they did a little over a decade ago.

But the mood is different this time around after a year in which wine grape growers with long-term contracts fared far better than those without.

"...The reasons: Higher land values and increased equity put owners of vineyards in a better position. And other crops - led by almonds - afford growers of wine grapes better alternatives.

"Several speakers made those points at a forum presented by the association in Fresno, where attendees also learned that the University of California has made or is in the process of making several significant hires in the viticulture research and advisory arena.

"Jeff Bitter, vice president of Allied Grape Growers, said the number of dozers in the vineyards could simply be due to eagerness by some to switch to almonds or another crop. He said Allied estimates between 15,000 and 25,000 acres will be taken out this year.

"...Bottom line: The net was $4,500 for almonds, $2,550 for grapes.

"...A virtue of wine grapes grown under contract, he said, is price stability.

“'It’s one of the few areas where you can lock prices in under a long-term contract,'
[Rory Robertson, executive vice president and CEO of horticultural crops with Westchester Group Investment Management] said.

"He fully expects almond prices will decrease, but admitted, 'I’ve been wrong about that before.'

"...Competition was particularly tough in the low-priced wine range of under the $3 a bottle or even $7, said Matthew Towers, chief operating officer of O’Neill Vintners and Distillers.

"In that category, Towers said, 'Consumers don’t care where a bottle of wine comes from.' That, he and Bitter said, makes it hard for California producers to compete with imports in that category.

“'We need to find ways to insert our wine into bottles selling at higher price points,' Bitter said."


I know that one typically doesn't consider the Central Valley when reflecting on the presence of old-vine grape plantings in the West Coast. This region is primarily a commodities market.

What baffles me is the bevvy of contradictory advice and information on the value of winegrapes, a crop - like almonds - that requires years of waiting for a viable return on one's investment.

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#32 Post by Drew Goin » March 14th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Short of posting the entirety of this article, I am sharing only the link and a couple of pertinent graphs...

Ceres Imaging website
"Stable acres, shifting varietals: Allied Grape Growers' Jeff Bitter on wine economics in 2018"

bitter1.jpg
Est CA grapevines planted
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bitter4.jpg
CV est acres uprooted prior to each listed vintage
bitter4.jpg (27.49 KiB) Viewed 2107 times

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#33 Post by dsGriswold » March 14th, 2018, 10:32 pm

There was a post several years back about moving the whole DRC vineyard to a more northerly locating to compensate for global warming. [wow.gif]

I read through the whole post, quite well written. Some one pointed out to check the date, April 1! blush
Last edited by dsGriswold on March 15th, 2018, 11:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#34 Post by Drew Goin » March 15th, 2018, 12:58 am

dsGriswold wrote:There was a post several years back about moving the whole DRC vineyard to a more northerly locating to compensate for global warming. [wow.gif]

I can't speak for Europe, but I did see this today:

FarmLandGrab.org
"Californians, Chinese Scooping Up Farmland in Washington State"
NBC News
July 31, 2015


"'We're getting a lot of interest where they want to move out of California into Washington, Oregon and Idaho,' said John Knipe, president of Knipe Land Co. in Boise, Idaho. 'Often they have to sell the California property to do that.'

"Knipe said water availability is seen as 'a very big factor' when potential investors are looking at farmland.

"Portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana are currently in severe or extreme drought conditions, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. The Drought Monitor released Thursday stated that 'the lack of mountain snowpack has contributed to record and near-record low-stream flows across much of the Pacific Northwest, with tinder-dry conditions resulting in the closing of the forests in northern Idaho.'

"Statewide, Washington cropland increased in value by an average 5.8 percent last year compared with the year prior, and is up more than 36 percent since 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2014 Land Values report, which will be updated next week. Oregon cropland was up an average 4.2 percent last year and has risen 13 percent since 2010. By comparison, California cropland increased an average 2.8 percent in value last year but lagged the growth in values from states in the nation's heartland."

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#35 Post by Drew Goin » March 26th, 2018, 4:16 am

Here is a notion that I honestly have overlooked. If the preservation of vineyards - especially those that represent multiple generations of human effort - is going to succeed, the general wine-drinking public must be aware of the existence of specific properties.

In the past, when I thought of tours, I was overwhelmed with mental images of semi-drunk parties riding in mini-buses, limosines, or a certain train, down Hwy 21 in Napa Valley.

Yes, the annual Historic Vineyard Society events include a tour of ancient vineyards, but I believe most of the attendees are among the converted in the organization's mission.

Here's a vineyard tour business that I found moments ago: Touring & Tasting.

From the website:

"Here are just a few amazing things you'll receive when you book a tour with Touring & Tasting:

- Fully customized and flexible VIP itinerary. Areas served: Bay Area, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Lake County, Lodi, and Livermore Valley
- Upgrades, perks, and enhanced experiences at select businesses, courtesy of Touring & Tasting
- Scenic ride in a new, safe, top-rated vehicle (more details below)
- Complimentary copy of Touring & Tasting magazine
- Free Touring & Tasting Preferred membership — no strings attached
- Friendly, safe, and knowledgeable Tour Director
- Optional airport and out-of-area pick up and drop off (additional fee may apply)"


Why on Earth would I advocate this sort of thing?

The more wine drinkers have a chance to cast their eyes on the physical sources of their preferred alcoholic beverage, the greater the odds become that the vast blur of anonymous vineyards will transform into individual, significant sites that people care to remember. Photos of tour sites, coupled with the tour organization's literature (to assist wine-fogged memories), may be shared with friends, both in-person and via social media.

I identify this particular touring service because it offers patrons the opportunity to visit areas where many lesser-known vineyards are located.


Check out this tour from 2015. Tell me how many of the sites you recognize:

"Lodi's Legendary Vines"

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#36 Post by Drew Goin » April 22nd, 2018, 4:00 pm

As I try to juggle my "research" on the various threads on regions (Contra Costa, Santa Clara/San Benito), grape varieties (Mourvèdre, hopefully a Carignan thread, too), and this topic, I occasionally hit dead ends.

Recently, the Lodi blog has been stressing the "Economics vs Heritage" topic heavily - with good reason.

The total acreage of old-vine Zinfandel in the region have been threatened by current wine trends remains unknown, but it is apparently very high.

While I continue to track down info relevant to other threads that fascinate me, I (sadly) remain able to rely on the struggles in Lodi to provide material for the "Economics vs Heritage" topic.



Lodi Wine blog
"Heritage Oak's Blends are Crafted for Sophisticated Red Wine Lovers"
by Randy Caparoso
March 26, 2018


"...The big producers have always made their grape buying decisions based upon ongoing trends. This inevitably has a huge impact on the Lodi wine grape industry – by far the largest in the U.S. Thirty-five years ago it was all about growing more Chardonnay and less Chenin blanc or Colombard. Twenty-five years ago, it was Carignan (a grape used to produce generic 'Burgundy') that had to go, and Merlot that needed more planting, and pronto.

"Just this past fall (2017), an estimated 'thousands' of acres (exact figures still to be determined) of Zinfandel have recently been torn out of the ground in the Lodi wine region. Maybe the old vine plantings are not so venerated after all. But why? Because sales of White Zinfandel as well as value priced red Zinfandel ($12 and under) have recently taken a dive. The big producers are demanding more Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as more black skinned grapes such as Petite Sirah to use in, of course, more red wine blends.

"These same marketing realities, needless to say, trickle down to Lodi’s smaller, artisanal producers. For instance, while known for single-vineyard Zinfandels, McCay Cellars has been producing a red wine blend called 'Paisley' over the past five years. 'Paisley has its fans,' says owner/winemaker Mike McCay, 'and so we have to keep making it.' Oak Farm Vineyards has been tinkering with a 'Corset' blend for going on three vintages. Teeny-tiny Markus Wine Co. – the current favorite among geekier Lodi wine lovers – is virtually all about blends as opposed to varietal bottlings.

"Even the larger Michael David Winery – while nearing 1 million-case production, still small-fry compared to behemoths like E. & J. Gallo – has added on extremely successful red wine blends to their ubiquitous '7 Deadly' and 'Freakshow' labels, complimenting their original Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon varietal bottlings under the same monikers.

"The last thing anyone would ever say about Heritage Oak owner/grower/winemaker Tom Hoffman is that he makes wines for the simple-minded. If anything, Hoffman’s wines are the opposite: They are for wine lovers who fancy subtlety, balance, a touch of elegance along with some Lodi earthiness. But if you prefer the 'obvious', or more one-dimensional tutti-fruitiness, Heritage Oak wines may not be for you.

"The thing about blends, says Hoffman is that 'blending brings out different flavors, often something you wouldn’t find if you were sampling the wines components separately. If one wine gives you Flavor A and another wine gives you Flavor B, logically you’d expect to get Flavor A+B, but what I see after the wines are blended is something else, Flavor C.'"



Even in an article that seemingly highlights the work of one winery (Heritage Oak, in this case) developing blends that appeal to changing consumer tastes, the author has to make mention of the near-apocalyptic degree of vine uprooting taking place. In order to accommodate the shifting focus of drinkers, corporations tailor their contracts with grape growers to hone in on a moving target.

It has been a bit of a running joke - true though it be - that one primary reason Zinfandel aficionados are able to savor wines from ancient plantings is due to the timely popularity of inexpensive, sweet bottles of blush. I would not have thought that this is still the case.
:|

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#37 Post by Drew Goin » May 2nd, 2018, 8:37 pm

What steps are winegrape-growing communities taking to save pre-existing vineyards?

I have asked myself this question several times (at least) over the past couple of years, yet I have not found many promising answers.

Firstly, a county or city must be dedicated to actively working directly with the growers/landowners. Legislation that merely states that old vineyards are important or special doesn't do anything in the real world.

Secondly, the landowners must have a desire to embrace any protective measures provided by legislation. The final decision is up to them.


Here are a few opportunities for vineyard owners to utilize, should it be a priority for them:



​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​State of California's Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC) website

"The SALC Program complements investments made in urban areas with the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, development of agricultural land strategy plans, and other mechanisms that result in GHG reductions and a more resilient agricultural sector.

​"The program invests in agricultural land conservation with revenue from the California's California Climate Investments (CCI) Fund​, made available for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities. CCI is derived from quarterly cap-and-trade auction proceeds, which are administered by the California Air Resources Board.

"The Department of Conservation works in cooperation with the Natural Resources Agency and the SGC to implement the program."

​​​​​​

California's Strategic Growth Program SALC website

"Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation:
Protecting California’s Agricultural lands from development"


SGC: "Vision"

"Protecting California's Agricultural Lands from Development: The loss of prime California farmland is a threat to the economic vitality and environmental sustainability of the state."
salc-info-capntrade.png
"The SALC Program utilizes Cap-and-Trade proceeds to protect agricultural lands on the outskirts of cities and near residential neighborhoods from development" - SGC website
salc-info-capntrade.png (68.75 KiB) Viewed 1878 times
"Combatting Sprawl

"The SALC program simultaneously supports California’s food security and encourages infill development and low-carbon transportation to curb sprawl.

"Urban sprawl not only increases greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, as people have to drive further to get where they need to go, but also encroaches on agricultural lands that both store carbon and sustain our economy."

salc-info-easemnts.png
"52 Easement Projects totaling 81,081 acres to be conserved; Over $75.9 million invested" SGC website
salc-info-easemnts.png (73.12 KiB) Viewed 1878 times
"How does the SALC Program encourage climate-smart development?" (PDF file)
____________________________________________________________________

Contra Costa Agricultural-Natural Resource Trust: "Our Work"

"Sometimes, land that isn’t public is still in the public interest—a centuries-old family farm, a working ranch that includes important wetlands, or development areas with creeks and protected species. We work with landowners who would like to preserve the value they derive from the land while also honoring its value to the community. As the Trust's portfolio of protected land grows, we continue to direct our attention towards the sustainability and stewardship of these areas by providing resources to landowners on conservation and stewardship practices and requirements. We reflect our commitment to the sustainability and maintenance of the lands we protect with every action we take."

ANRT "Easements 101"

"IN THE LAST 30 YEARS, THE BAY AREA HAS LOST 217,000 ACRES of agricultural land to sprawl development—a total area equivalent to seven San Franciscos. Contra Costa County agriculture contributes $225 million to the local economy. Yet the county has had nearly 20% of its agricultural land paved over since 1990, and much of what’s left is still threatened by imminent development pressure.

​"Close to urban areas, Bay Area farmers and ranchers are under more pressure than their counterparts in more rural areas of the state. The cost of land and other inputs is higher and the potential for conflict with urban uses is greater. To stay in business, agriculture in this region must overcome these competitive disadvantages.

"WHAT IS A CONSERVATION EASEMENT?

"A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement by which a landowner chooses to limit certain uses of his or her land in order to conserve some value it provides. Land placed into a conservation easement still belongs to the landowner, and the landowner retains the rights to sell the land or pass it to heirs.

"Most landowners with conservation easements continue to live on and manage the land for farming, ranching, timber, recreation, and other uses. These agreements are tailored to meet the needs and long-term goals of each landowner. ANRT ensures that the mutually agreed-upon terms and conditions of the conservation easement are honored, and acts as a resource for landowners as they work toward these goals."


ANRT "Mitigation/Conservation Efforts"

"California is now the nation's most populous and fastest growing state. But the popularity comes at a price. In the last 25 years, California has paved over more than a million acres of land, much of it prime farmland. What's worse, the state's urban areas contain less than 10 people for every acre developed – the very definition of low-density urban sprawl. If current trends continue, another two million acres will be lost by 2050.

"Mitigation Conservation Easements are easements that are required in order to help offset expected adverse impacts of development on loss of farmland, habitat or riparian areas. These are paid for by the developer or mitigating group.
____________________________________________________________________

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority: "Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan"

"The Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan (Plan), an innovative approach to agricultural preservation that will reduce future conversion of local farmland and the associated increase in greenhouse gas emissions while growing a vibrant local food economy that contributes to our quality of life."

BACKGROUND

Santa Clara County has a rich agricultural history and was once recognized as the 'Valley of Heart’s Delight' famous for its orchards and canneries. Many are not aware that the County still has 24,000 acres of farmland that generates 8,100 jobs and $830 million in economic output. However, in the past 30 years alone, the County lost 21,171 acres of farmland and rangeland to development and an additional 28,391 acres are currently at risk of being developed. If we lose more of our farmland, it would not only diminish our local food source, but also result in a loss of the iconic rural character of Santa Clara Valley, important jobs and farms central to our agricultural economy, and would generate significant greenhouse gas emissions.

"To protect California’s irreplaceable croplands and rangelands, the State of California launched the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP) in 2015. The Plan is funded in part by SALCP which provides cap and trade funding to protect agricultural lands in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet California’s climate change goals. In partnership with the cities of San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy, the Authority and the County are mapping agricultural lands in Santa Clara Valley for conservation and identifying the regional greenhouse gas reduction potential."


• First Growth Farmers website
____________________________________________________________________

As I have pointed out in the "Contra Costa Wine Heritage" thread, some landowners are reluctant to participate in vineyard conservation steps that require the establishment of easements.

While I might not agree with that decision, the City of Oakley's work in saving its vineyards is an ongoing project. The Oakley issue is a race against time that, sadly, may continue with vineyard losses left and right.

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#38 Post by Drew Goin » May 18th, 2018, 4:51 am

Alas, another ancient vineyard is suffering from housing needs to accommodate population growth...this time, in Mendocino County!


Ukiah Daily Journal
"Ukiah Declines to Support Ag Protection for Lovers Lane Vineyards"
By: Justine Frederiksen
March 10, 2018


"The Ukiah City Council Wednesday declined to support barring development on more than 100 acres of vineyards along Lovers Lane.

"'One hundred and 33 acres is a lot of land … and forever is a long time,' said Vice-Mayor Maureen Mulheren, referring to an agricultural conservation easement that would have forever blocked development on the property owned by Mendo Farming Company, which includes Paul Dolan and his son Heath. 'I'm concerned about tying the hands of the community to a piece of agricultural land that 10 years from now might be determined to not be as fertile or as necessary.'

""This is an opportunity for the Ukiah Valley to preserve farm land and to bring a million dollars into the county," said Ann Cole of the Mendocino Land Trust, which requested and received a conditional award of $1.17 million from the state to pay the owner of the property for agreeing to forgo future development.

"However, Cole said the award was contingent on both the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Ukiah City Council passing resolutions of support.

"'This request tonight seeks to sugarcoat the destruction of the Ukiah Valley Area Plan,' said Phil Baldwin, describing anyone who was 'divorcing' the conservation easement from the planned housing development on the remaining 23 acres owned by the Dolans as 'not dealing with reality.'

"Baldwin said in his view, the easement 'seeks to bamboozle all of us to achieve a dangerous precedent for paving over farm land whenever the economically powerful claim a housing crisis.'

"'I'm certainly open to considering this at some point if the project for the housing doesn't go through, or even if it does go through,' said Council member Steve Scalmanini. 'But as it is tonight, I'm very reluctant to support half a loaf, when the whole thing was there at one point. I'd rather go for the whole thing.'

Scalmanini was referring to Lisa Ray's assertion that three years ago when the easement was first suggested to her by Dolan, all of his 156 acres and her 150 acres to the west were being considered for protection.

"'I withdrew my application (when I learned some acres were being excluded) because I believe it is in the community's best interest to include all of the agricultural land in the conservation easement north of Lovers Lane, not just a few,' said Ray, describing some of the 23 acres being considered for development as 'heritage vines that were planted over 50 years ago, and they should be preserved, not plowed under.'

Cole stressed that the housing project proposed by Guillon, Inc. should be seen as a wholly separate project, and 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen agreed.

"'The project in front of you is the project in front of you,' said McCowen, adding that the Board of Supervisors had unanimously approved the easement as an 'absolutely non-controversial' item on its consent calendar. "If you don't approve this project, you're unlikely to get another project that will include additional land.

"'This project preserves a large chunk of valuable agricultural land, brings a large amount of money into the community that will further support agriculture, and will relieve many city of Ukiah residents who are immediately adjacent to the property from being subjected to a large development without adequate traffic infrastructure,' said McCowen, referring to the possibility of many more acres than just the 23 being turned into housing.

"'I would not be supporting this if it weren't just those 23 acres set aside for housing,' said Council member Jim Brown. 'I can't even imagine 133 acres of housing out there. I think those buffers are necessary in preserving the integrity of the valley'..."

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#39 Post by Ken Zinns » May 18th, 2018, 8:43 am

Thanks for bringing the Lovers Lane issue to our attention, Drew - I had not heard this news.

Unfortunately, old vines in Mendocino County have largely gone unrecognized and unappreciated in comparison to those in Sonoma, Napa, and even Lodi. There are lots of old vineyards in Mendocino, especially old Carignane plantings. But since the fruit from these sites doesn't tend to be put into bottlings from the more celebrated advocates of old vines (I noted how few Mendocino wines were poured at the recent Historic Vineyard Society tasting in San Francisco), situations such as the one noted above are likely to keep coming up, and old vines will continue to be ripped out without much notice from the wine community.

It looks like the old Lovers Lane Carignane vineyard that Bryan Harrington has sourced fruit from may be one of those in danger now that the proposed agricultural conservation easement was voted down. Carignane tends to be a tough sell - no doubt part of the reason why the loss of these old Mendocino vineyards can so easily go un-noticed.
ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com

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#40 Post by Drew Goin » May 18th, 2018, 6:02 pm

Ken Zinns wrote:Thanks for bringing the Lovers Lane issue to our attention, Drew - I had not heard this news.

Unfortunately, old vines in Mendocino County have largely gone unrecognized and unappreciated in comparison to those in Sonoma, Napa, and even Lodi. There are lots of old vineyards in Mendocino, especially old Carignane plantings. But since the fruit from these sites doesn't tend to be put into bottlings from the more celebrated advocates of old vines (I noted how few Mendocino wines were poured at the recent Historic Vineyard Society tasting in San Francisco), situations such as the one noted above are likely to keep coming up, and old vines will continue to be ripped out without much notice from the wine community.

...Carignane tends to be a tough sell - no doubt part of the reason why the loss of these old Mendocino vineyards can so easily go un-noticed.

I wanted to hear your thoughts on this matter. Thank you, Ken!!

It is uncontestable that the majority of Mendocino's wine grapes are sold to wineries outside of the county. The local pride/awareness of its old-vine cultural treasures should not be dependent upon where the grapes end up, IMHO. Just as Contra Costa fruit is often fermented and bottled elsewhere, the effort to save the ancient vineyards is a local concern (albeit a late one).

Mendocino's work in promoting the quality of its grapes (both from newer and older sites) eclipses that of many other CA appellations. There are informational websites, tourist attractions, festivals, frequent newspaper highlights of growers' stories, etc. To what degree residents care about the destruction of the vineyards is a whole different creature. Are many jobs dependent on the welfare of Mendocino's viticulture? Does wine-themed tourism drum up local business sufficiently? Are gnarled, wizened vines solely aesthetic pleasures on the drive home?

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#41 Post by Drew Goin » May 20th, 2018, 8:09 pm

Growing Produce website
"Sea Change Coming to California Winegrape Landscape"
by David Eddy
May 24, 2016


"...The declining prices for SJV [San Joaquin Valley] grapes indicates there are just too many of them, notes Nat DiBuduo, President of Allied Grape Growers, the state’s largest grower cooperative with a total of about 600 growers. More precisely, he says there are too many of the older plantings of winegrapes that have largely fallen out of favor, such as ‘Carignan,’ ‘Barbera,’ and ‘French Colombard.’

"DiBuduo, who serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazines, says growers have been responding by pulling out a lot of acreage of those older varieties. About 21,000 acres of winegrapes were pulled out of the state’s interior between the 2014 and 2015 harvests, triple the amount recorded in each of the five preceding years. And another 13,000 acres have been pulled since the 2015 harvest.

"The pull-outs in the SJV have been underestimated by the state, as have the acres planted in other parts of the state, DiBuduo noted recently. The pull-outs, which were due in part to the state’s drought, aren’t exactly something he likes to trumpet. However, they are necessary to try and balance supply and demand, which definitely benefits growers, says DiBuduo.

“'It’s more interesting to talk about huge crops during excess or short crops during a shortage,' he says, 'but a short crop in a time of ample supply just makes for a boring production story of moving toward balance.'

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#42 Post by Drew Goin » May 20th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Though older, this article builds on the concept that the Central Valley of California is losing its edge over the coastal regions in winegrape growing...

California Agriculture, 57(3)
"California's Wine Industry Enters New Era"
by Dale M. Heien & Philip L. Martin
July 01, 2003

"...The wine industry has been among the most successful of California's farming sectors. The growing number of educated wine drinkers, optimists emphasize, means that the demand for premium wines can continue to expand. If the demand for jug or generic wines continues to fall, the 21st-century wine industry may operate at very different speeds, with one segment enjoying record profits while another uproots unprofitable grapes."

download.jpeg
"CA Winegrape Acreage, Production, & Price"
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#43 Post by Drew Goin » May 20th, 2018, 8:33 pm

California Agriculture, 57(3)
"Central Valley Growers Pulling Grapevines"
by Editors
July 1, 2003



"...Nearly three-quarters of the acreage uprooted is in Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties, primarily old vineyards or those without grape contracts, Correia reported at the May 30 Vineyard Economics Seminar in Napa. The varieties being pulled are mostly wine varieties, plus older Thompson Seedless raisins and table grapes.

"'Many of the growers are converting to citrus or almonds,'
[UC viticulture advisor Stephen] Vasquez notes.

"Behind dairy, grapes are the state's second largest agricultural sector, worth $2.6 billion in 2002. According to a March 2003 California Department of Food and Agriculture report, California crushed 3.8 million tons of grapes (including wine, raisins and table grapes) in 2002, up 12.5% from 2001, while growers received average prices 17% lower than the previous year. Growers without contracts for their grapes faced the lowest spot-market prices in decades."

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#44 Post by Drew Goin » June 30th, 2018, 6:25 pm

LA Times
"Study Indicates that Climate Change will Wreak Havoc on California Agriculture"
by Michael Hiltzik
March 09, 2018


"The California we know is the breadbasket of the nation, producing more than two-thirds of the country's fruits and nuts, including almonds, pistachios, oranges, apricots, nectarines and prunes, and more than a third of its vegetables, including artichokes, broccoli, spinach and carrots. It's all valued at more than $50 billion a year.

"That's the assessment of a recent paper by a University of California team led by Tapan Pathak of UC Merced. But the researchers focused on a different aspect of California agriculture: You can kiss much of it goodbye because of climate change.

"The paper, published in the journal Agronomy last month, is the most thorough review of the literature on the regional impact of climate change in recent memory. It makes grim reading.

"Among the chief manifestations of climate change will be changes in precipitation patterns, leading to more drought and more flooding, and spottier water storage. Generally warmer temperatures, not to mention more frequent and severe heat waves, will reduce yields of wine grapes, strawberries and walnuts; shorter chill seasons will make vast areas no longer suitable for chestnuts, pecans, apricots, kiwis, apples, cherries and pears. Plant diseases and pests will move into regions where they haven't been a problem before.

"...Put it all together, and the prospect is for a dramatic change in the mix of California produce and overall output. The UC paper foresees a decline of more than 40% in avocado yields, and as much as 20% in almonds, table grapes, oranges and walnuts. (Wine grape yields will be generally unaffected, but their quality might be compromised.)

"...The effects of climate change fall into two main interrelated categories in California, as they do most everywhere: temperature and water. Average maximum and minimum temperatures have been rising in the state, leading to less cooling and more heat waves, especially in inland areas such as the Central Valley.

"...UC Merced's Pathak says growers and state planners will need to deal with short-term impacts as well as the long-term ones. The near term involves greater variability in weather, namely more droughts and floods. 'We need to be prepared to mitigate risks to agriculture due to these extreme events,' he told me. That translates into better flood control, more efficient irrigation and more water storage.

FS76YMHH3RHY5JG6CPXZDYNBT4.jpg
Climate change could shrink the California snowpack by as much as 65% by the end of this century, forcing drastic changes on agriculture. (California Department of Water Resources)
FS76YMHH3RHY5JG6CPXZDYNBT4.jpg (24.91 KiB) Viewed 1532 times
"The longer term requires a more strategic approach. California simply won't be as suitable — or suitable at all — for some crops that have been identified with California farming for decades. Whatever the strategy, California agriculture is going to look very different at the end of this century than it does today, and the time to start taking stock is now."[/i]

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#45 Post by Drew Goin » July 2nd, 2018, 4:30 am

Lodi Wine Commission Blog
"Premiumization of Lodi Grapes and Wines Addressed at 2018 Lodi Vineyard & Wine Economics Symposium"
by Randy Caparoso
June 29, 2018

BechtholdVineyardMay2018.jpg
"The historic Bechthold Vineyard; Lodi's oldest continuously farmed planting (Cinsaut planted in 1886)" - Lodi Wine Blog
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"“Lodi needs to actively fight against commoditization and move more decisively towards premiumization,” said Jeff Bitter, the recently appointed President of Allied Grape Growers; yesterday afternoon at the 2018 Lodi Vineyard & Wine Economics Symposium, taking place at Wine & Roses Hotel in front of an audience consisting primarily of Lodi wine grape growers and producers.

"Both words, premiumization and commoditization, are a mouthful. Bitter was basically pointing out the fact that Lodi wine grape growers are moving towards more expensive, premium quality production; despite the region’s far longer history as a source of grapes of distinctive qualities which, nonetheless, end up becoming homogenized in giant vats of more everyday quality wine (making it an epitome of 'commoditization').

"Hence, Lodi’s pertinacious reputation as a second-tier wine region; notwithstanding the growing number of proven, premium quality Lodi grown wines being produced by artisanal wineries inside and outside the region over the past 15, 20 years. A reputation that, in effect, has prevented Lodi growers from establishing higher price points for their grapes.

"...'Believe it or not,' said Bitter, 'red Zinfandel is the poster child for premiumization in Lodi, despite the fact that grapes are sold for as low as $400 to $800 (per ton), yet up to $3000, and the fact that the bulk market is currently swimming in an excess of Zinfandel.' Bitter added that the 'opportunities are there' for Lodi Zinfandel to grow into a premium priced wine because of what’s happening in 'neighboring districts,' such as Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

TeganMcCayBobLauchland.jpg
"Turley Wine Cellars' Tegan Passlacqua (left) with Lodi grower/vintners Mike McCay and Bob Lauchland" - Lodi Wine Blog
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"Mr. [/i][Tegan] Passalacqua – whose Turley Wine Cellars specializes in ultra-premium level Zinfandel and Petite Sirah grown in all the major California wine regions (from Sonoma to Amador County, and from Mendocino down to Paso Robles) – simply related his company’s experience: 'Everywhere we go in the wine markets across the U.S., we see insatiable demand for high-end Zinfandel – the opportunities are endless out there.'

"Passalacqua made no bones about his perception of the quality of Lodi grown Zinfandel: 'We see no qualitative differences between Lodi fruit and other regions’, despite the price differences... In 2010 we did 92 different Zinfandel ferments – and in all honesty, I’d have to say that 2 of our 3 best Zinfandels that year came from Lodi.

“'Zinfandel in Napa Valley currently goes for about $4000 a ton, but that’s because there is less and less of it everyday. There is a lot of mediocre Zinfandel in Napa Valley going for $4,200/ton – stuff that I wouldn’t pay for. But it sells because there is a demand for high-end zin out in the market.'

"Part of the price differentials, of course, has to do with the reputations of Napa Valley vs. Lodi. Passalacqua remarked, 'One of the biggest issues to address is getting people out here to experience Lodi. Most of the industry still doesn’t understand that St. Helena (in the center of Napa Valley) during most summer months has hotter days than Lodi. It’s hard to get people to break out of the mentality that Lodi is not as good.'

"According to Bitter, commenting further on Lodi’s pivot towards premiumization: 'It starts with growers making that decision, which involves spending more money, investing more time on production and marketing, selling to smaller producers with big reputations, taking a chance, and even accepting a little failure along the way.'

"Peltier Winery’s Rod Schatz agreed with Bitter; saying: 'The most important thing is having a willingness to change; then you need to invest and up your game....'

"Mr.
[Marshall]Miller spoke about his family’s tireless efforts towards 'branding' and grower/winery 'partnerships,' ever since their first vineyard (Bien Nacido) was established in 1973; while sharing these ideas with Lodi vintners: 'We view our vineyard names as intellectual property, which often makes contractual discussions with wineries a wrestling match. But we believe that if wineries are going to use our vineyard names on wine labels, a certain level of quality needs to be reached. We are selective about who are our branding "partners". Not all the wineries we sell Bien Nacido grapes to, for instance, are eligible for the use of that name.'

"The Miller family backs up their demands on wineries by farming strictly for quality; plus, by selling grapes by the acre, rather than by the ton, which frees up both the grower and winemaker to establish their vineyard management protocols based upon qualitative needs (as opposed to tonnage).

"...Passalacqua made a similar comment regarding the oft-times contentious grower/winery dynamic; saying, 'Great farming builds a winemaker’s confidence because every decision you make in a winery is based upon what is done in a vineyard.'

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"Dr. Stephanie Bolton among ancient Lodi vines" - Lodi Wine Blog
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"...Finally, Dr. [/i][Stephanie] Bolton spoke about the Lodi Winegrowing Commission’s ongoing efforts to get growers to develop 6 specific skills – not all of which, she admitted, 'growers are comfortable doing':

• Business skills
• Negotiating
• Branding
• Networking
• Promoting
• Agritourism

"The entire idea of putting X amount of money aside each year for marketing or communications, according Bolton, is still something of a foreign concept to most Lodi growers, but 'it is one of the keys to premiumization.'

"...“One of our Lodi grape buyers told me that when given a choice between grapes that are certified or non-certified, I always pick the grapes with LODI RULES certification.”

"Bolton adds that the LODI RULES organization is also upping its game with support programs; such as the recent launch of a consumer-targeted Web site at LODIRULES.org which aggressively promotes the message and values of sustainable viticulture, while also serving as a source of the growing lists of certified vineyards and wine producers for consumers to reference.

“'The public is eager to get behind sustainability,' said Bolton, 'which is why we also need to think more seriously about vineyard agritourism as a way of reinforcing our wine country visitors’ connection to sustainable vineyards
– and Lodi is the leader in sustainability....'"



LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing website

LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing website: "Certified Vineyards" Directory

LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing website: "Wines Made with Sustainable Grapes" Winery Directory

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#46 Post by Drew Goin » July 18th, 2018, 8:58 am

Jake from Bedrock Wine Company hosts this new video on an east-side Lodi vineyard that has been undergoing some remediation for its last leg of existence.


[youtube]57JXvu00Hqc[/youtube]

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#47 Post by Drew Goin » July 22nd, 2018, 6:28 pm

The story of how Lodi's "Spenker Ranch" managed to keep a large portion of the historic "Royal Tee Vineyard" in the ground is a lesson for independent land owners struggling with similar challenges today.

After surviving on annual bulk purchases from a corporate giant, Greg Burns developed a mutually-beneficial relationship with a smaller winemaking organization. The improved farming practices taught by the folks at Turley indirectly contributed to the formation of Jessie's Grove Winery.




Lodi Wine Commission Blog
"Tasting Royal-Tee at Jessie’s Grove"
by Randy Caparoso
December 29, 2010


"...This 5 acre vineyard was originally planted by Joseph Spenker in 1889; so long ago, even American history buffs have trouble recalling who was president then (it was Benjamin Harrison).
12_29_2010_1.jpg
"Jessie's Grove's Greg Burns with one of his ancient Carignane vines" - from Lodi Wine Commission Blog
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"Today, these majestic vines – twisting, whirling arms rising from tree-like trunks, like graceful, oversized bonsai – produce red wines that are emblematic of the recent growth of Lodi as a region known for ultra-premium wine growing: namely, Jesse’s Grove’s 'Ancient Vine' Carignane and 'Royal Tee' Zinfandel.

"We can talk into the night about Lodi’s heritage Zinfandels, but it is the 'Royal Tee’s' Carignane that is perhaps the vineyard’s definitive wine. The 2006 Jessie’s Grove 'Ancient Vine' Lodi Carignane ($32) is full bodied, dry red that staggers the senses as much as the mind: bushels of blackberry and black cherry in the nose. The gushing aromas turn into bright, boysenberry-like flavors on the palate; plump and teeming, like caramelized syrup seeping through a gripping palate.

"...Spenker’s great-great-grandson, Greg Burns, is 'Royal Tee’s' current gatekeeper and winemaker/proprietor...Burns shared some of the family history: 'Although there was a good market for wine grapes 121 years ago, we never produced wine of our own until Jessie’s Grove was bonded in 1999. The winery was named after my great-grandmother, Jessie Spenker, who really was the one who kept the ranch going after Joseph Spenker’s passing at the beginning of the last century.'

"An early environmentalist, Jessie was also the one who set aside 32 of the ranch’s 320 acres, preserving the grove of 100-plus-year-old oak trees that you see today next to 'Royal Tee'. Continuing the story, Burns tells us, 'up until the mid-nineties, our grapes were sold almost exclusively to E&J Gallo...Of course, in those days, all contracts were done by handshake.'

"The change came in the mid-nineties, when Larry Turley – the owner of Turley Wine Cellars (if not California’s most prestigious Zinfandel producer, certainly the most cult-like) – came knocking. According to Burns, 'Larry and his assistant winemaker, Ehren Jordan, suggested some cover crops, and helped with the bunch thinning and leaf pulling. During the harvest they drove the tractors pulling the macro-bins themselves, and there were some fantastic Turley zins made from our grapes in ’96, ’97 and ’98.

"'Naturally, that motivated us to start our own winery. But not all of our old vines were productive. 42 of the original acres planted by my great great grandfather were in very poor, sandy soil, and the plants were very small – half the size of the vines you see in 'Royal Tee' – and struggled to produce grapes, struggled to stay alive, especially since they were always dry farmed. So in 1996, we made the heartbreaking decision to pull most of them out and replant; keeping the healthier ancient vines, with the deeper root systems in loamier soil – and that’s the 'Royal Tee', affectionately named after one of our brood mares.'
12_29_2010_3.jpg
"Royal Tee Carignane, nearly ready to pick in Oct. 2010" - Lodi Wine Commission Blog
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"Talking about the Carignane coming off the 'Royal Tee', Burns says, 'the vineyard is interplanted with several grapes – only about four of the five acres is actually Zinfandel, and we mark the odd varieties with ribbons so that the pickers can tell the difference when they pass through. The Carignane adds up to about three-quarters of an acre, and the rest is a mix of Black Prince, and Mission. There is also some classic, old, pink table grape, Tokay, which we use to make a Port.

“'I believe Carignane vines really need to be at least 100 years to truly express the grape. Even so, not every year. Maybe we’re picky, because we know what a phenomenal wine it can be, from great vintages like ’02 and ’04. We didn’t make an 'Ancient Vine' Carignane in ’07 or ’08. The past vintage (2010) was a great one for all of Lodi; but in the fermentor our 2010 Carignane did not quite hit us with the aromatic distinction we look for, and so we decided to blend it into our 'Westwind' Zinfandel.'..."[/i]

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#48 Post by Drew Goin » August 8th, 2018, 6:06 am

Not really in-line with the Economics theme, but I needed somewhere to share this!

From the Dry Creek Valley Sonoma Wine Country website (January of 2014):


"What IS a Field Blend Zinfandel?"


"Yesterday, we hosted a virtual live wine tasting for about a dozen wine bloggers from all over the country. The theme was 'field blend zinfandel,' and it was lead by winemakers John Olney of Ridge Lytton Springs and Kerry Damskey of Dutcher Crossing Winery; and Assistant Winemaker of Dry Creek Vineyard, Nova Perrill. So what exactly is a 'field blend zinfandel?'

"Well, let’s first start with the meaning of field blends. A field blend is wine created from several varieties of grapes that were all grown together (same vineyard), picked together and co-fermented. A field blend zinfandel is primarily made from zinfandel grapes, with the addition of a small percentage of other varietals that were planted in the same vineyard as the zinfandel.

"There’s much more to learn about field blend zinfandel, particularly those produced here in Dry Creek Valley. So sit back, relax, pour a glass of wine (we recommend a field blend zin from Dry Creek Valley!) and enjoy this informative, fun and educational discussion by three of our region’s winemakers."

_20180808_075315.JPG
Stop clicking on it! It's not a video link!!!
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A video of just over an hour of question-answer-format discussion follows, with the three winery gentlemen fielding the questions.


If you have the time, and can crank up the volume, I recommend that you check it out!

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Re: Saving Old Vineyards - Economics vs Heritage

#49 Post by Drew Goin » October 15th, 2018, 11:36 am

What is Lodi getting right that other old-vine wine producing areas are not?


Napa Valley Register
"Lodi Rising: The Region's Wines are Taking Off and the World is Watching"
by Tim Carl
June 15, 2018


"...Lodi’s rapid rise is largely due to three factors: 1) the cost of land is relatively low; 2) Lodi is large (over 110,000 planted acres, compared to Napa’s 45,000), displaying a wide diversity of microclimates that can grow everything from heat-loving Zinfandel and Cabernet to cooler-climate varietals such as Kerner and Gewürztraminer; and, 3) the culture encourages wine experimentation...."

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Re: Saving Old Vineyards - Economics vs Heritage

#50 Post by Drew Goin » November 22nd, 2018, 8:38 am

The Russian River Valley's "Mancini Ranch" has been under the ownership of Mr Max Reichwage's eponymous winery for a few years now.

Reichwage_Jan2016_MG_0987.jpg
Mancini Ranch, January, 2016 - Reichwage website

According to the Reichwage website's profile of the "Mancini Ranch":

"...We took-over this fairly neglected site in 2015, and ambitiously began chopping back the overgrown black berries, poison oak, removing excess spurs, training-up new trunks, and rejuvenating the soil with compost. We view this special property as a long-term project and it is our hope that the low yields (1 ton/acre) will improve with time, making the farming more economically sustainable."

Reichwage_Jan2016_MG_1044.jpg
Mancini Ranch vines - Reichwage Winery

A hodgepodge of +22 grape varieties originally was planted in the "Mancini Vineyard" between 1922 and 1924. Mr Reichwage has overseen the addition of the following:

"...Grafted in 2018 in small quantities: Mondeuse, Plavac Mali, Charbono, Trousseau Gris, Touriga Nacional, Chenin Blanc, Clairette Blanche"

The first Zinfandel & Carignan bottlings from the vineyard were offered to email list members on August 28, 2017, during the 2017 Fall Release.

In the September 12, 2018, Fall Release email, Mr Reichwage stated:

"Mancini Ranch: The old vines are looking great this year, the canopy size is the largest I've ever seen, and the leaves are staying green well into September! A testament to all the TLC the vineyard has recieved over the past four growing seasons. We will likely be picking here between the end of September, and early October."


The 2016 Reichwage "Mancini Ranch" RRV Zinfandel (~85% Zin, 15% Mixed Blacks & Whites) ($36/btl) is "from the hill-top sections of Mancini Ranch, what Luca Mancini called 'Mount Olivet'."

IMG_3106.jpg
Reichwage 2016 "Mancini Ranch" Zinfandel - from the winery website

Reichwage also offers a 2017 vintage vineyard-designated Carignan ($29/btl) from the same Russian River Valley site:

"The Carignane was co-fermented with Grand Noir, Alicante Bouschet, and Aboriou (Early Burgundy), all 100% whole-cluster, with native yeasts and allowed to age for 11 months in large neutral oak puncheons."



According to the website, the "Mancini Ranch" is one of ten surviving old-vine sites in the Piner-Olivet area of the Russian River Valley. There is a map of the remaining vineyards available on the winery's web page. Unfortunately, it is a low-resolution image.



Reichwage Winery website:
http://www.reichwage.com/#home-section

Bohème Wines produced one Zinfandel, a 2013 bottling from the "Mancini Vineyard".

Carlisle began offering a "Mancini Vineyard" Zinfandel in 2017 featuring the 2015 vintage, and the 2016 vintage was made available in April of 2018.

Carol Shelton produces a "Mancini Vineyard" Zinfandel every year as well. The 2014 is the current vintage.

Joseph Swan made Zinfandel wines from this special location for many years, either labelled as "Mancini Vineyard" or blended with fruit from the nearby "Ziegler Vineyard". The "Côtes du Rosa" was a Carignan-dominant wine composed exclusively from "Mancini" grapes; the final vintage of this amazing product was 2012.

Miro Cellars offered vineyard-designated reserve-tier Zinfandels from the "Mancini Vineyard" in the past as well.


EveryVine location of the "Mancini Vineyard":
http://www.everyvine.com/org/Mancini_Ra ... _Vineyard/
Last edited by Drew Goin on February 20th, 2019, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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