wine grapes

Erick Gonzalez

Harvest season is in full swing for vineyards in the North Bay but many winegrowers are seeing a shortage of laborers to work in their fields. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi spoke with Karissa Kruse of Sonoma County Winegrowers to find out what’s causing the labor crunch and what growers are doing to make sure no grape goes unpicked.

Falcon Kites a New Tool to Protect Vineyards

Jun 12, 2017

Falcons are a proven deterrent to the birds than can raid and damage ripening grapes.  Now a North Bay innovator with a background in bird management  is promoting a look-alike kite to do the same job.

Roger Snow of Falcon Crop Management, the new company he has formed to promote the Falcon Fright Kites, believes they are a far more effective --and economical--deterrent than any of the commonly used alternatives that are currently available.

Secrets of Successfully Dry-Farming Grapes

May 16, 2017

For vineyards, dry farming means no irrigation, relying only on what Nature provides—with an assist from composting and other supportive measures. An experienced practitioner shared his insights at an on-site workshop Tuesday morning.

Using cover crops to add organic material to the soil is another important step in Bernier's dry-farming process.

The dry farming workshop was co-hosted by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District.

Vineyard Sustainability Campaign Showing Progress

Jul 5, 2016

Sustainability is on the rise in Sonoma County’s vineyards, and that movement is gathering attention much further afield.

    To assist local vineyards in moving toward sustainability, the Sonoma County Winegrowers organization has compiled a fat binder of best practices, many of them developed by a team at UC Davis. It’s not a series of steps that must be taken, says Executive Director Karissa Kruse; more like a menu of possible actions.

Alternative Approaches to Vineyard Frost Protection

Mar 28, 2016

Recent warm weather has triggered the onset of bud break in the vineyards, yet the lingering threat of cold nights carries enormous risk. But some new research suggests there are chemical and botanical measures that can deflect the danger of freezing, without requiring the use of large amounts of water or electricity. We get details from reporter Valerie Kim in Hopland.

Turning Wine Waste into Healthy Snacks

Mar 1, 2016

  It has to be used sparingly, but flour made from dried grape skins and seeds is both healthy and nutritious. And it’s starting to catch on.

The first local commercial use of grape skin flour was in making gluten-free cookies,  recalls Tom Keener, co-founder of Wild California.

Health Benefits Discovered in Wine Waste

Feb 29, 2016

If red wine is good for your heart, that’s mostly due to a compound called resveratrol, which is found in the skins of red grape varietals.  But new research suggests that powdered white grape skins may be even more beneficial.

Torey Arvick, chief scientist for WholeVine is persuaded that their testing has verified the superior health benefits of chardonnay grape flour over red varietals.