Viticulture Experts Gather to Imagine the Vineyard of the Future.
Over the coming decades, California’s agricultural industries, including our valuable viticulture industry, will be threatened by climate change. Facing the challenges of increased extreme heat exposure punctuated by extreme weather events, producers will need to find ways to adapt their management strategies to create more resilient vineyards. Producers may also aim to mitigate their contributions toward climate change, as Jackson Family Wines is doing, by finding solutions that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and/or sequester atmospheric carbon.
To capture the current state of knowledge on adaptation and mitigation applications in viticulture and look toward the future needs of vineyards, the California Climate Hub hosted a workshop in partnership with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance that brought together a group of academic and industry experts on viticulture in California. The workshop used an innovative agenda to extract from the experts a nuanced understanding of the challenges climate change is imposing on vineyards, the options currently available for growers to improve their adaptive capacity and mitigation potential, and to develop a vision for what vineyards need to look like to sustain production.
Participants were assigned to one of five topical working groups — soils and the vineyard floor, water and irrigation management, canopy management, plant materials and genetics, and technology and instrumentation — that were designed to facilitate topically-focused discussion while collectively providing a holistic view of the vineyard system. The event started with a series of context-setting lightning talks and an industry panel to ground the workshop's discussions in the “real world” of today’s working vineyards. The generative portion of the workshop followed as experts broke out into working groups with carefully crafted guidance that leveraged their diverse perspectives to build a thorough understanding of what’s needed to improve the resilience of today’s vineyards and ensure California can continue to grow wine long into the future.
In the coming months, participants will continue to engage with one another to collectively develop guidance for growers that supports adaptation and mitigation and builds more resilient vineyards. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the workshop’s outputs.