Bing does California Central Coast

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Nathan Smyth
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Bing does California Central Coast

#1 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 9th, 2019, 10:37 am

Today on Bing
September 9, 2019
Today we're celebrating the 169th anniversary of the Golden State's admission into the Union with an appropriately golden image of a Central Coast winery and landscape...
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LaDigue_1920x1080.jpg
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Credit: Ian Shive/Tandem Motion + Stills
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Nathan Smyth
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Re: Bing does California Central Coast

#2 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 9th, 2019, 10:39 am

Does anyone know why they plant the rows in the direction of the erosion flow?

Is it simply so that the tractors can work the hills more easily?

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Paul Gordon
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Re: Bing does California Central Coast

#3 Post by Paul Gordon » September 9th, 2019, 11:03 am

Nathan Smyth wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 10:39 am
Does anyone know why they plant the rows in the direction of the erosion flow?

Is it simply so that the tractors can work the hills more easily?
You are correct. If the rows were to go across the face of the slope there would need to be terraces cut.
The other consideration for row orientation is the sun exposure. North-south, actually slightly off N-S to allow maximum shading around 2PM, is preferred.

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Nathan Smyth
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Re: Bing does California Central Coast

#4 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 9th, 2019, 11:48 am

Is there just not enough rain in California to worry about erosion?

Or do you get a particularly nasty El Nino every 15 or 20 years, which wipes out entire vineyards via mudslides? [And it's cheaper to replant from scratch than to have terraced in the first place?]

Or are many California viticultural zones still so young [on average] that they simply haven't faced a nasty El Nino yet?

Or does the Eco-Clergy frown on terracing for some reason [known only to the ascetics]?

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Re: Bing does California Central Coast

#5 Post by Paul Gordon » September 9th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 11:48 am
Is there just not enough rain in California to worry about erosion?

Or do you get a particularly nasty El Nino every 15 or 20 years, which wipes out entire vineyards via mudslides? [And it's cheaper to replant from scratch than to have terraced in the first place?]

Or are many California viticultural zones still so young [on average] that they simply haven't faced a nasty El Nino yet?

Or does the Eco-Clergy frown on terracing for some reason [known only to the ascetics]?
Erosion is a little bit more of a concern as you move north in CA. 2017-2018 was a heavy rain year, with our vineyard receiving over 100in. So yes we do worry about erosion.
The action of terracing is expensive and does lead to an erosion/slide risk the first couple years. Personally I think there is lower risk with rows up and down a slope with a permanent cover crop.

Paul
Paul Gordon
Halcon Vineyards

Nathan Smyth
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Re: Bing does California Central Coast

#6 Post by Nathan Smyth » September 9th, 2019, 7:09 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 12:59 pm
The action of terracing is expensive and does lead to an erosion/slide risk the first couple years. Personally I think there is lower risk with rows up and down a slope with a permanent cover crop.
Yeah, I was thinking what with that crazy weird California pseudo-soil (I always felt like it was just glorified volcanic ash), maybe doing nothing at all might be the best bet, and I was also wondering whether the roots of the grape vines themselves might help with erosion control.

But I've seen terrifying videos of those mudslides.

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Re: Bing does California Central Coast

#7 Post by Paul Gordon » September 9th, 2019, 8:55 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 7:09 pm
Paul Gordon wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 12:59 pm
The action of terracing is expensive and does lead to an erosion/slide risk the first couple years. Personally I think there is lower risk with rows up and down a slope with a permanent cover crop.
Yeah, I was thinking what with that crazy weird California pseudo-soil (I always felt like it was just glorified volcanic ash), maybe doing nothing at all might be the best bet, and I was also wondering whether the roots of the grape vines themselves might help with erosion control.

But I've seen terrifying videos of those mudslides.
Nathan

I think volcanic soils predominate in Napa, not as common elsewhere in CA. We have schist soils.

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Paul Gordon
Halcon Vineyards

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