226 episodes

Get the latest science and research for the wine industry with Sustainable Wine Growing. Vineyard Team brings you industry professionals and experts on resource issues and business trends related to sustainable agriculture to help you put sustainability into practice.

Sustainable Winegrowing Vineyard Team

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 35 Ratings

Get the latest science and research for the wine industry with Sustainable Wine Growing. Vineyard Team brings you industry professionals and experts on resource issues and business trends related to sustainable agriculture to help you put sustainability into practice.

    California’s Ban on Autonomous Tractors

    California’s Ban on Autonomous Tractors

    An antiquated California law makes the use of autonomous equipment in the vineyard challenging. Michael Miiller, Director of Government Relations at the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) explains that workplace safety standards developed in the 1970s based on 1940s equipment state that self-driven tractors must have an operator onboard. To update this law, CAWG is working closely with manufacturers and countries that allow autonomous equipment to aggregate data on safety. Automation has many potential benefits to farm workers include developing transferable skills, upward mobility, precision agriculture, and increased safety. Learn about how the law works today and about funding opportunities to train staff.
    Resources:         117: Grapevine Mildew Control with UV Light 120: Autonomous Drone Vineyard Spraying 219: Intelligent Sprayers to Improve Fungicide Applications and Save Money California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Legislative Action Center California’s ongoing ban of autonomous tractors a major setback Department of Industrial Relations Regulation Title 8 Section 3441 Operation of Agricultural Equipment Electric, self-driving capable tractors roll into California North Coast vineyards. North Bay Business Journal. (Partial pay wall) Frequently Asked Questions Self-Propelled Agricultural Equipment (CAWG Member Login required) Vineyard Team Programs: Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship - Donate SIP Certified – Show your care for the people and planet   Sustainable Ag Expo – The premiere winegrowing event of the year Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand (Western SARE) – Learn at your own pace Vineyard Team – Become a Member Get More Subscribe wherever you listen so you never miss an episode on the latest science and research with the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast. Since 1994, Vineyard Team has been your resource for workshops and field demonstrations, research, and events dedicated to the stewardship of our natural resources.
    Learn more at www.vineyardteam.org.  
    Transcript Craig Macmillan  0:00 
    Our guest today is Michael Miiller. He is Director of Government Relations at the California association of wine grape growers. And thanks for being on the program.
     
    Michael Miiller  0:09 
    Thank you for having me.
     
    Craig Macmillan  0:11 
    The talk today is where we're at with autonomous tractors as they give a presentation, and you brought up some of the issues we were facing. And I know you've worked on this a lot as well, if you can tell us as of where we are here, end of February 2024. Are we going to get our detractors or not?
     
    Michael Miiller  0:30 
    That's a really good question. And you can approach them in a whole bunch of different ways. One is we already have them, the technologies there. Now they're being used in many vineyards, across companies around the world. They're also being used in orchards and fields and other commodities. And the reasons for that are in that it's not just economics, it's also about availability of workforce. It's about precision, agriculture, precision, viticulture, making sure that we are good stewards of the land. And it's also about looking to the future, making sure that we have a sustainable industry to grow by grower sustainable vineyard is a huge investment in So on one hand, yes, we already have that. On the other hand, there are continued complications of California law with it. The law states that if you are using self driven tractors, and that's the language in the California workplace safety standards, self driven tractors, then that means that you're supposed to have a driver on board that equipment. So if you have an autonomous tractor that is self driven, meaning that it's programmed to operate without a driver on board, but through electronic means through technology, then you're supposed to have a driver on that board, no matter what. And that law obviously very antiquated. It was, you kn

    • 27 min
    Cultivating Female Empowerment at Cambria Estate Winery | Marketing Tip Monday

    Cultivating Female Empowerment at Cambria Estate Winery | Marketing Tip Monday

    When asked to define the 3 P's of Sustainability (People, Planet, Prosperity), Prosperity is often the one gives people pause.
    But it's such an important leg of the stool! Sustainable businesses develop long-term plans and strategies to ensure they can thrive now and into the future.
    Welcome to Marketing Tip Monday with SIP Certified. We know customers are looking for wines labeled as sustainable. While our longer-form episodes help you learn about the latest science and research for the wine industry, these twice-monthly micro podcasts will help you share your dedication to sustainable winegrowing so you can show your customers that you share their values.
    Some of the ways businesses embody Prosperity are through:
    Creating and sticking to a budget. Keeping thorough records. Creating informed and effective marketing plans. A business can also extend their prosperity through collaborative efforts with like-minded groups. When this happens, both parties win.
    Organizations that partner over shared values benefit by:
    Pooling resources. Building relationships. Advancing awareness and support for their cause. For example, Cambria Estate Winery is a Business rooted in women’s leadership. Their team partners with organizations that share their dedication to uplifting and empowering women in an incredibly impactful way.
    Cultivating Female Empowerment
    Cambria Estate Winery is rooted women’s leadership. Their certified sustainable wines are even named after their proprietors – Barbara, Katherine, and Julia.
    Did you know that their dedication to recognizing the experiences and achievements of women goes even deeper? Uplifting and empowering women is core to their Business values, and they have a big way of showing it.
    Every March for Women’s History Month, Cambria selects an organization that aligns with their pillars of climate action and women’s leadership, and pledges $25k to support their efforts.
    Tamara Bingham, Cambria’s Brand Manager, gets to make the phone call to let the organization know they were selected – a task she says is “probably the most rewarding part of my job.”
    In 2024, she notified the lead of American Farmland Trust’s “Women for the Land” initiative to pledge their support. Right in line with Cambria’s own sustainable practices, this initiative supports women farmers and landowners in preserving their land and embracing conservatism.
    Other past years’ partnership organizations include Equity Now, Women’s Earth Alliance, SeaTrees, and Amazon Frontlines.
    Through these partnerships, Cambria demonstrates their dedication to using the power of their platform to help uplift and empower women everywhere.
    Their Business practices are founded on their belief that a commitment to sustainability is also a commitment to amplifying the messages of the many deserving organizations working towards a better future.
    We are here to help you tell your customers how your brand protects natural and human resources with the Sustainable Story program.
    This simple yet powerful free tool helps you tell your own personal sustainable message. And it just got better with a new online course.  Go to the show notes, click the link titled Tell Your Sustainable Story to sign up, and start writing yours today!      
    Until next time, this is Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team.
    Resources: *** Tell Your Sustainable Story Online Course *** Apply for SIP Certified Wine Marketing Tips eNewsletter Sustainable Story | Print Sustainable Story | Electronic What's your Sustainable Story? Vineyard Team Programs: Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship - Donate SIP Certified – Show your care for the people and planet   Sustainable Ag Expo – The premiere winegrowing event of the year Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand (Western SARE) – Learn at your own pace Vineyard Team – Become a Member

    • 3 min
    New Decision Support System for Irrigation Efficiency

    New Decision Support System for Irrigation Efficiency

    If irrigation efficiency is a goal of yours, a new predictive model may make scheduling easier in the future. José Manuel Mirás Avalos, Tenured Scientist at Misión Biológica de Galicia in the Spanish Nation Research Council (CSIC) (MBG-CSIC) in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) is working on a Decision Support System (DSS) prototype for irrigation and fertilization of winegrapes. This computer model accounts for multiple variables including weather, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, soil type, plant spacing, bud break, variety, and wine quality goals to help farmers make more informed irrigation decisions throughout the growing season.
    Resources:         191: CropManage: Improving the Precision of Water and Fertilizer Inputs 195: Hydrological Mapping: A Vital Component of Effective Water Conservation Plans 213: High Resolution Data from Space Helps Farmers Plan for Climate Change Decision Support System for Seasonal Irrigation and Nitrogen Fertilization Decision support system for selecting the rootstock, irrigation regime and nitrogen fertilization in winemaking vineyards: WANUGRAPE4.0 Effects of the Annual Nitrogen Fertilization Rate on Vine Performance and Grape Quality for Winemaking: Insights from a Meta-Analysis Fiabilidad de la monitorización del contenido de agua del suelo para determinar el estado hídrico de la vid. (“Reliability of monitoring soil water content to determine the water status of the vine”) -in Spanish José Manuel Mirás Avalos on ResearchGate: José Manuel Mirás Avalos On LinkedIn Vineyard Team Programs: Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship - Donate SIP Certified – Show your care for the people and planet   Sustainable Ag Expo – The premiere winegrowing event of the year Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand (Western SARE) – Learn at your own pace Vineyard Team – Become a Member Get More Subscribe wherever you listen so you never miss an episode on the latest science and research with the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast. Since 1994, Vineyard Team has been your resource for workshops and field demonstrations, research, and events dedicated to the stewardship of our natural resources.
    Learn more at www.vineyardteam.org.  
    Transcript Craig Macmillan  0:00 
    Our guest today is José Manuel Mirás Avalos. He is tenured scientists at the Misión Biológica de Galicia and the Center for Spanish Research Council. Thanks for being on the podcast.
     
    José Manuel Mirás Avalos  0:10 
    Thank you very much for inviting me. It's a great pleasure for me.
     
    Craig Macmillan  0:14 
    We were interested in talking to you because we saw that you've been working on a pretty interesting type of technology with it with a whole group of folks around the idea of decision support systems, particularly around irrigation, fertilization for grapes, possibly even root stock selection, when I read, first of all, for our audience, what exactly is a decision support system?
     
    José Manuel Mirás Avalos  0:34 
    The idea behind that decision support system is to provide a within one package in this case is a computer platform in which we use different kinds of information coming from real data coming from models that that are implemented within this platform to provide the users the end users with information to make certain practices easier, or more rational. In the vineyard. In this case, we were centered in this particular case in irrigation and fertilization. And there was another it's not exactly a decision support system is more like decisions help decision making for the rootstock which is a independent from the, from the irrigation fertilization system.
     
    Craig Macmillan  1:27 
    How does the grower use this kind of tool so I'm trying to make decisions about irrigating my vineyard and how did the tool play into it?
     
    José Manuel Mirás Avalos  1:36 
    At the moment is just a prototype, the computer program or the DSS for being short? The DSS Decision Support Syst

    • 26 min
    How Sustainability Sells in a Tough Market | Marketing Tip Monday

    How Sustainability Sells in a Tough Market | Marketing Tip Monday

    Beyond doing good by the environment and your community, your sustainably certified wine grapes differentiate your brand in today’s oversaturated wine market.
    But do you know how much of a value-driver your certification really is?
    Welcome to Marketing Tip Monday with SIP Certified. We know customers are looking for wines labeled as sustainable. While our longer-form episodes help you learn about the latest science and research for the wine industry, these twice-monthly micro podcasts will help you share your dedication to sustainable winegrowing so you can show your customers that you share their values.
    In this Marketing Tip, get insight into the significance of sustainably grown grapes in the larger market from Gregg Hibbits, who has nearly 30 years of experience selling wine grapes.
    Over this course of his career, he has experienced a shift in what his grape-buying clients are looking for. Keep reading for highlights from his interview on Episode #83 of the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast.
    Buyers with Different Interests Each client, Hibbits says, has different interests.
    Many winemakers have deep and long-standing interests in sustainability because they believe in its mission: creating high-quality products through protecting, conserving, and regenerating resources so people of today and the future can prosper. They seek out certified sustainable grapes that align with their values. Other buyers believe that sustainability is the direction the industry is going. They feel a push from the market and the trade to produce wine from sustainably farmed grapes, so it is part of their purchasing criteria when they source fruit. Furthermore, sustainability is a value-driver for investors. Businesses want to report back to their investors that the product they are supporting is both of high-quality and reaches exceptional levels in environmental and social health. But he notes a change in his clients over his career.
    Higher Demands, Higher Premiums Hibbits tells Sustainable Winegrowing, “There’s absolutely no question that people are more demanding on every front now.”
    Buyers are demanding sustainability. Now, the topic comes up early in conversations with buyers – something, Hibbits says, was not the case 15 years ago.
    But he has been able to fulfill those demands, and has been rewarded in the form of premiums.
    “Sometimes it’s as simple as being able to sell your grapes when nobody else can – that’s a premium. And then sometimes when the market is in a different place, the premium is a true premium: I can get $200 - $300 a ton more for my sustainably certified or organic grapes.”
    And this is something we hear from SIP Certified growers time and time again:
    John Niven, Cadre Wines “Buyers are looking for wines that have responsible farming practices, are aware of environmental issues, and, of course, are of high quality.
    The SIP Certified program has added value to our wines allowing us to demonstrate our ability to fulfill all of the desired criteria that buyers look for.”
    Austin Hope, Hope Family Wines “More and more, we’re being asked about our sustainability efforts in the vineyard and winery.
    Being SIP Certified is an easy way for us to quantify our practices and tell the consumer and trade about how we run our operation in a way that’s better for the land, the wine and the community”.
    Adam LaZarre, Broadside Wine “For us, having our wines SIP Certified is easily the best way to let our entire audience know we are sincere about doing the right thing for the health of our vineyards, customers, and employees...
    I know for a fact that this is a HUGE selling point for our wines.”
    If your Grapes are SIP Certified… … it’s easier now than ever to put the SIP Certified logo on your wine bottles.
    Thanks to the latest SIP Certified database feature, you can create a wine application in just a few minutes.
    Say goodbye to the days of documents and information getting l

    • 4 min
    Future Proof Your Wine Business with Omnichannel Communication

    Future Proof Your Wine Business with Omnichannel Communication

    While the tradition of wine is still important to how we connect with customers, the way that we communicate has changed. David Avrin, President of The Customer Experience Advantage explains why brands must have an omnichannel approach to their customer communication. Identify which channels are most valuable to your business by defining your core audience. Then find out what they watch, what they read, and where they recreate. Use these insights to harness the technology that your customers use whether its snail mail or TikTok. David reminds us that there is no shame in not being comfortable with technology but there is no excuse to not work with a technology native who does understand the platforms that best reach your audience.
    Resources:         82: Getting to Know Your Wine Customer 85: It‘s Time for New Wine Sales Strategies 98: Selling Wine in Non-Traditional Channels 161: Use Storytelling to Sell More Wine David Avrin Website David Avrin Books David Avrin LinkedIn David Avrin YouTube Social Media: Facebook | Instagram Vineyard Team Programs: Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship - Donate SIP Certified – Show your care for the people and planet   Sustainable Ag Expo – The premiere winegrowing event of the year Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand (Western SARE) – Learn at your own pace Vineyard Team – Become a Member Get More Subscribe wherever you listen so you never miss an episode on the latest science and research with the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast. Since 1994, Vineyard Team has been your resource for workshops and field demonstrations, research, and events dedicated to the stewardship of our natural resources.
    Learn more at www.vineyardteam.org.  
    Transcript Craig Macmillan  0:00 
    Our guest today is David Avrin. He is president of the customer experience advantage. Today we're going to talk about a little bit about the business side, and how that applies sustainability in the wine industry. Thanks for being on the podcast.
     
    David Arvin  0:14 
    Thank you very much for having me.
     
    Craig Macmillan  0:16 
    Now, we've talked about wineries vineyards, but their businesses. In your mind, what are some of the important things that winery and vineyard owners might think about in terms of making their companies sustainable into the future?
     
    David Arvin  0:29 
    Yeah, it's interesting, because I think the industry certainly has been around for a very long time. And when it goes back to Biblical times, and there's there's certain ways that vineyard owners, those who are in the business suppliers, and others, this is how we do business, this is how it's done. But what's interesting is for the rest of us, who are the wine consumers, our lives have changed. And it's actually for everybody, right? How we connect, and share and grow our own businesses, and our changing expectations for access and immediacy, and flexibility, all of that has changed. So I think part of future proofing your business is striking that balance between the traditions, that, that go into making a great vintage wine, and how we interact and how we engage as consumers in the b2b side with distributors and others as well. So many of those mechanisms have changed. So I think what's really important is for people to be very clear on the technologies that are expected, and the ones that facilitate great communication in great relationships. I saw a study the other day, and the gist of it said that, that companies today are expected to deploy technology that allows their customers to do business with them, not from home, from anywhere, at any time, I don't expect that I can get my hair cut at four o'clock in the morning, but I expect that I can make an appointment to do so or cancel that appointment. So I think it's a very unique industry, because the traditions and what is tried and true and effective are so important to maintain, so important to pass along from generation to generation, but how we connect

    • 24 min
    How to Talk SIP with 6 Wine Consumer Segments | Marketing Tip Monday

    How to Talk SIP with 6 Wine Consumer Segments | Marketing Tip Monday

    Every wine enthusiast has different preferences, behaviors, and levels of investment in their pursuit of great wine. A few years ago, Wine Intelligence identified six distinct consumer segments in the US market and we wondered “how can we tailor a message of sustainability to align with these differences?”
    Welcome to Marketing Tip Monday with SIP Certified. We know customers are looking for wines labeled as sustainable. While our longer-form episodes help you learn about the latest science and research for the wine industry, these twice-monthly micro podcasts will help you share your dedication to sustainable winegrowing so you can show your customers that you share their values.
    In this Throwback Thursday Marketing Tip, we’re revisiting the six wine consumer segments and giving you tips on how to most effectively share your sustainable story with each one.
     
    1. Engaged Explorers
    Who are they: Young, adventurist, frequent wine drinkers who love to try wines from different regions and producers.
    Talk SIP: Tell them how you improve your soil quality and how the health of your land influences the characteristics of your wine. They’ll love learning how nature impacts a high-quality wine.
     
    2. Premium Brand Suburban
    Who are they: Mid- to older-aged enthusiasts who know a lot about wine. They may not be big spenders, but they can be die-hard loyalists.
    Talk SIP: Get technical! Talk about how fruit quality is measured (Brix, pH, and TA). They’ll love the insight and attention to detail.
     
    3. Contended Treaters
    Who are they: Mid- to older-aged drinkers who don’t drink often, but when they do, they are willing to spend more. They are knowledgeable and involved, and look for an engaging story to relay to their social circles.
    Talk SIP: Give them fun sustainable tidbits to share with their friends, like a specific sustainable practice from your sustainable story worksheet.
    Worksheet for Print | Worksheet for Electronic Filling
     
    4. Social Newbies
    Who are they: Young, new to wine, and rely heavily upon recommendations and valued information.
    Talk SIP: Stick to the 3 P’s of sustainability: People, Planet, Prosperity. They’ll love this 360° approach and be able to pass it along with confidence.
     
    5. Senior Bargain Hunters
    Who are they: The largest segment of wine drinkers in USA. They have strong wine knowledge and tend to select from a narrow range of styles and brands to meet their expectations on value.
    Talk SIP: Talk value-driven sustainable initiatives like monitoring utility usage and recycling programs.
     
    6. Kitchen Casuals
    Who are they: Very infrequent wine drinkers who stay close to what they know.
    Talk SIP: Stick to the basics of what sustainability is and how drinking sustainable wine is a win for the people and the planet.
    We are here to help you tell your customers how your brand protects natural and human resources with the Sustainable Story program.
    This simple yet powerful free tool helps you tell your own personal sustainable message. And it just got better with a new online course.  Go to the show notes, click the link titled Tell Your Sustainable Story to sign up, and start writing your Sustainable Story today!    
    Until next time, this is Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team.
    Resources: *** Tell Your Sustainable Story Online Course *** Marketing Tips eNewsletter ReSIProcal February Sustainable Story | Print Sustainable Story | Electronic What's your Sustainable Story? Whitney Brownie | Get YOUR Sustainable Story Featured Vineyard Team Programs: Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship - Donate SIP Certified – Show your care for the people and planet   Sustainable Ag Expo – The premiere winegrowing event of the year Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand (Western SARE) – Learn at your own pace Vineyard Team – Become a Member

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

Allana ,

Outstanding

#1 podcast for vineyard nerds. Can I request an episode on modifying soil pH up and down, necessary rates, and reasons? You guys rock!

grapesmuggler246 ,

Outstanding

Sound info across all aspects of wine grape growing. Perfect for all levels of knowledge.

sloCook ,

Great educational resource

Interesting topics. Great production. Educational & informative.

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