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Tour: Small Vineyard Practices for a Hotter, Drier Climate
February 27, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Soil health principles lie at the core of management decisions that emphasize grape quality and long term resilience for small vineyards. These practices that aim to impart beneficial qualities to soil such as water holding capacity, infiltration, microbial activity, fertility and erosion control are becoming increasingly important in the face of the unprecedented challenges associated with climate change. Tablas Creek Vineyard is a pioneering 120-acre estate vineyard that has been addressing these challenges head-on. As a certified organic and biodynamic vineyard, they continue to refine ways to make the most of on-farm and local resources using innovative approaches to dry farming, holistic grazing management and conservation tillage practices. As part of the Cal Poly Healthy Soils Project, Tablas Creek has been participating in a three year project to investigate the links between soil building practices such as no-till and grazing of cover crops, and measures of soil carbon, water holding capacity and grape quality. During the field day, Tablas Creek vineyard managers will share lessons learned from their unique soil management strategy, Dr. Cristina Lazcano and her research team will present some of their preliminary findings, and Dr. Jean-Pierre Wolff of Wolff Vineyards and others will discuss the variety of ways small vineyards are balancing soil, water, and quality considerations in anticipation of rising peak temperatures and shrinking water supplies.