Greg Pennyroyal is the Viticulture and Enology Coordinator at Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards in Temecula, California. He is also the Professor of Viticulture for Mt. San Jacinto Community College. Greg has worked in many industries including medicinal organic herb production, traditional eastern medicine, and botanical medicine research and development. Greg has been active in researching neurodegenerative diseases in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Barbara and has a breadth of knowledge about plant health that is a true delight.
In this episode, Greg and I discuss
How the microbiome determines ‘terroir’ and influences flavor and quality, Using plant sap analysis, and how well it correlates with field observation Can you produce fruit with more flavor and metabolites in a stressed environment, or in an optimal environment? Plus many more highlights
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The Farm as Ecosystem by Jerry Brunetti Science in Agriculture: Advanced Methods for Sustainable Farming by Arden B. Andersen Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease by Lawrence E. Datnoff, Wade H. Elmer, Don M. Huber Tuning In To Nature by Philip S. Callahan Nutrition Rules! by Graeme Sait Postmodern Winemaking: Rethinking the Modern Science of an Ancient Craft by Clark Smith Chemistry Made Simple: A Complete Introduction to the Basic Building Blocks of Matter by John T. Moore Khan Academy Acres U.S.A.
Music Greg recommends:
For a musical translation of what it's like when you feel a sense of elation when new concepts click into place: Beethoven's 9th Symphony, otherwise known as the Ode of Joy For when you gotta clean out your barn: Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love Episode 16 - Greg Pennyroyal - Highlights
2:30 - Greg’s journey bringing him to where he is today
Greg started on a family farm, not having any experience or idea what he was doing Greg’s advice on finding a mentor, and how a local dairy farmer became one of Greg’s first mentors How Greg found his practical experience and down-home logic helped him when thinking critically about what he was taught in college Why Greg moved on after a decade, and him ending up at Trout Lake Farm for the decade after
8:25 - Integrating business and agriculture
The importance of not being greedy when developing a solid place in the market
9:00 - Greg’s movement to Leiner Health Products and his increase in research possibilities
Why looking for alternatives to standard agriculture doesn’t mean we need to be looking for alternatives to science Greg’s views on having a perspective of connecting the dots on a higher level than deep science
10:30 - Standardizing natural products like medicine
Greg’s breakthrough on finding plants growing in ecosystems closer to where the plant was native to, where biological principles were used, had much less variation from season to season and farm to farm This was because plants that are built better and grown in a biological system tend to have more biochemical homeostasis
13:10 - The connection between biological integrity and the human genome
13:30 - Greg’s homeopathic testing with interesting results
15:45 - Greg’s work on an MS medication from a rare Tibetan herb, and how it was similar to California white sage
17:20 - The importance of being aware of misinformation on both sides of unconventional and conventional agriculture
17:50 - Greg at Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards
Greg loves making wine! Viticulture is one of the few agricultural crops that a paid for quality. Great grapes = higher wine prices. x6 value of the commercial value of grapes How different regions of growing contribute to the taste of wine - which is due to t