You are heresustainable viticulture
Cliff Ohmart has recently published a book tiled "A View from the Vineyard: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Winegrape Growing". Cliff was trained as an entomologist, has worked for over 30 years in the field of Integrated Pest Management, and during the last 20 years has been a key player in establishing IPM and sustainability-oriented outreach and education programs in California's viticulture industry. Cliff has been a trusted colleague of the CEPB and serves as an adviser to our National Science Foundation funded sustainable viticulture study. For more information about Cliff's new book visit the below links. Congratulations, Cliff!
Wine Appreciation Guild
The CEPB's sustainable viticulture research team has recently put out a new research brief: "Learning Pathways in Viticulture Management." Read the full version by accessing the document below.
Managing a winegrape vineyard, like any agricultural enterprise, is a knowledge intensive activity. Winegrape growers learn about vineyard management by accessing a wide variety of information resources. The available information can directly influence vineyard management practices, which ultimately impacts environmental, economic, and social outcomes.
Congratulations to Matthew Hoffman on being awarded a SAREP grant to study wineries in Lodi as an extension of the sustainable viticulture program. He is already trying to expand this to a statewide study. Here is the info on the grant:
What exactly do farmers practicing sustainable agriculture seek to sustain? This is the broad question I sought to find insight into when conducting my MS thesis as a rural sociology and sustainable agriculture student at Iowa State University. The objective of this study was to identify the underlying and culturally embedded motivations for participation in sustainability programs and for achieving the greater goal of agricultural sustainability. The thesis is now available as a brief report, and is attached to this blog posting.
The first in our series of newsletters featuring articles and commentary from the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior.
We recently released the second in our series of research briefs from our project investigating sustainability in California viticulture. This brief reports the perceived effectiveness of sustainability programs throughout the state, based on findings from our survey of viticulture outreach professionals and semi-structured interviews of winegrape growers. Take a look at the brief and feel free to provide comments.
I'm investigating perceptions of inequity and the inequity resolution process in a local groundwater user association in Guadalupe Valley, Mexico and Sonoma Valley, California-both prominent viticulture regions. Understanding how inequities factor in to and can be resolved at a local level is critical to assessing the effectiveness of international aid programs that incentivize collaborative and local resource management. The study will contribute to literature that examines Social-Ecological Systems and Integrated Water Resource Management outcomes.
We have just released our first "policy brief" from the sustainable viticulture project. The brief focuses on the perceived costs and benefits of sustainable viticulture practices and how uncertainty affects these evaluations. The report was widely distributed to study participants and other sustainable viticulture stakeholders. Click on the attachment below to download the report.
I'm currently engaged in one of the most enjoyable activities of my job: interviewing real people engaged in real environmental and agricultural decision-making situations. In this case, I'm talking about winegrape growers and winemakers in Napa Valley, who I am interviewing as part of the sustainable viticulture project. I've interviewed 6 people so far, and all of them have been interesting for different reasons.
One of the cool things about the Napa growers is that it gives me a chance to scratch beneath the surface of the country's premium wine region. The grape prices, land prices, and wine prices are the highest in the country. Napa growers feel they provide some of the best wine in the world (and most people agree), and also are leaders in sustainability.
Here are some of the interesting stories I've heard; these may or may not ever end up in a scientific publication but I can vouch for their authenticity:
As detailed on our projects page, our National Science Foundation study of sustainable viticulture is in full swing. But sustainable viticulture is not only a California phenomena. It is also occuring in countries like Australia, as illustrated by an interview about the Yalumba Wine Company.