Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

Discussions and questions (vintages, winemaking, etc) for those ITB. All are welcome to post.
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Gavin H
Posts: 3
Joined: September 11th, 2019, 12:13 pm

Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

#1 Post by Gavin H » September 11th, 2019, 4:20 pm

Hi Folks,

I plan on planting a small home vineyard in Sebastopol (West Sonoma) in the Spring. I am trying to find a viticulture consultant to advise on soil assessment, vineyard spacing, root stock selection, clone selection etc. I'm looking to plant between 500-600 vines. I've tried reaching out to a number of people - but I'm not getting return phone calls or maybe it's too small a project. In summary - I'm looking for leads for viticulture consultants as well as vineyard installation folks.

This is my first post - so I hope I'm not breaking any rules - but I'm looking for help - not trying to sell anything.

Any leads would be appreciated.


H o l l a n d

Gary Schulte
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2872
Joined: May 27th, 2010, 7:30 am
Location: Southeastern New England

Re: Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

#2 Post by Gary Schulte » September 11th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Gavin - You might start with your UCDavis Extension office for Sonoma County. They most likely have people that would give you some good advice and possible other local resources to tap into. Rhonda Smith is your local extension advisor with grape growing experience ...... ... 20Director .

Brian Gilp
Posts: 2683
Joined: May 29th, 2010, 6:00 am

Re: Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

#3 Post by Brian Gilp » September 12th, 2019, 8:56 am

In Maryland we have a grape growers association that puts on new grower symposiums once or more times per year. Similar organizations exists in Pennsylvania and Virginia and provide similar opportunity and resources related to standard practices/lessons learned for the area. Not exactly what you are looking for but they did help me wrt site prep, rootstock selection, row spacing, and other establishment issues. I assume that there should be something similar in your area but maybe not.

Posts: 44
Joined: March 13th, 2019, 1:20 pm
Location: Napa, CA

Re: Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

#4 Post by BenjaminL » September 12th, 2019, 4:12 pm

Hey Gavin,
Development has been pretty restricted in the North Coast. My opinion would be to talk to the closest neighbor who has grapes and see what they're doing. Most legit consultants work on vineyard development projects that costs ~$50,000 - $60,000 per acre. These are large projects where economies of scale help reduce costs.
I think your size may make it so you don't have to jump through a number of new regulatory hoops (<5 acres avoiding SF Water Control Board General Permit). I'm not too familiar with the Sonoma County VESCO process, but I'd google it if I were you.
Have fun!
B Leachman

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Kurt B e i t l e r
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Joined: February 21st, 2013, 2:31 pm
Location: Occidental, CA

Re: Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

#5 Post by Kurt B e i t l e r » September 29th, 2019, 7:11 pm

I grow at a few sites in West Sonoma and would be glad to visit/ get you on the right track. Most wine & grape folks are quite busy and exhausted with harvest right now - I’m not surprised you’ve had some hurdles.
Shoot me an email info@bohemewines or ring the winery 707-887-2287 and we’ll coordinate. 👍🏽

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