Central Sierra
University of California
Central Sierra

Foothill Fodder

Are Your Vines in Balance? Foothill Grape Day is March 29!


Foothill Grape Day 2018 will be held Thursday, March 29 from 7:30 a.m.to 3:00 p.m. at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Pokerville Hall.  This year's theme is "Vine Balance", which I think of as the sweet spot in growing a particular block of grapes.  This occurs when the vegetative canopy and crop load can be sustained and provides the desired grape quality.   Vine balance is more than an academic concept.  It is the foundation for making management...

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 11:11 AM

South American Grape Growers Plan for Sustainable Future

Richardo Villalba presents Andean climate stats at GiESCO.

Happy New Year 2018 Fodder Folks! 2017 ended for me with a trip to South America, in order to participate in the 20th International GiESCO (Group of International Experts of vitivinicultural Systems for CoOperation) meeting held in Mendoza, Argentina, and to do some vineyard field touring with my UCCE colleagues in Chile. GiESCO (a funny acronym, I know) provides a wealth of information, and it is especially interesting to realize that winegrowers and extension...

Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Mechanical Harvest Field Day

Dr. Kaan Kurtural describes transitioning a vineyard from head to cordon trained.

Hi Fodder Followers!  About 40 foothill growers and wine industry folks turned out yesterday for my UCCE Sponsored "Transition to Mechanical Harvest Field Day" held at Dick Cooper's ranch in Plymouth, Amador County. With guest speaker Dr. Kaan Kurtural, UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Specialist and hosted by Dick with help from Kevin Steward of Trinchero, the morning held a good discussion of machine harvest, concerns of quality, and the lack of labor. Attendees...

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 3:46 PM

Using the disease triangle and PMI to decide how to start your seasonal mildew program

Disease triangle for powdery mildew

Hi Foothill Fodder Family! This week temperatures warmed up enough to begin the powdery mildew index in all of our 7 foothill PMI (powdery mildew index) stations-the information is publicly available on our UCIPM website here, with links on my webpages here.  What does the index mean and how can we best use this information to begin our powdery mildew treatments?  I like to start by thinking of the disease "triangle": the 3 things needed for disease to happen.  The key...

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:46 AM

Kurtural Team Attacks "On the Go" Vineyard Management

Dr. Kurtural addresses the NVEELC group at Oakville Station.

Greetings Fodder Folks, In early April I participated in the "National Viticulture and Enology Extension Leadership Conference" (NVEELC) which was held at the UC Oakville Station in the lovely Napa Valley.  The conference is an opportunity for viticulture extension folks from around the country to share industry news and ideas for working together, and includes a day of professional development. 44 extension-related viticulture and enology professionals participated in...

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 3:42 PM

Rainfall totals top 50 inches in some foothill areas!

Rising river

Hi Fodder Followers! Is everyone safely afloat out there?  I've just finished totaling the current "hydro year" precipitation totals for our 7 (yes, we now have 7!) powdery mildew stations and 3 CIMIS stations.  (Note: The Amador Eagle station is awaiting an upgrade, so that station's data is not included.) The "hydrological year", also called a "water year", is a term hydrologists and water resource managers use to describe the period from Oct. 1 of a given year to...

Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 3:50 PM
Tags: Rainfall (2), stations (1), weather (2)

Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus: Not just in Pinot Gris!

A full silo means we won't go hungry over the winter.

Greetings Fodder Folks! I'm often asked if winter is a slow time for me.  Even though the vines and trees are taking a much needed rest, fall and winter is the time for us UCCE Advisors to assess the previous season, prepare reports and presentations, and plan for next year's projects. Sort of like making sure the silo is full and the feed hasn't gone bad so you can produce a higher yield next season (my Wisconsin roots, don't you know...). With a growing amount of knowledge needed...

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Nebbiolo: the Wine of Kings and the King of Wine!

Prof. Vittorino Novello in a foothill vineyard.

Hello Fodder Folks! The visit I coordinated by Professor Vittorino Novello, University of Turin, Italy, to our foothill region to tour Italian winegrape varieties and interact with local grape growers and industry was a huge success!  This was due in no small part to the hosting vineyard managers and winemakers who made the El Dorado and Amador vineyard tours a hit! And wow, what an incredibly knowledgeable and gracious scholar.  Vittorino was able to address the growing...

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016 at 5:47 PM

Mildew, Spray Tech, and an Upcoming Visit from Vittorino

No feed in the trough lately, but not to worry! I'm making hay!

Hello Fodder Followers! Are you still out there? I know the trough has been empty for awhile now, but I, like many of you, have been making hay while the sun shines! Rest assured, I've got your backs and have alot in store for you so listen up! First off, powdery mildew has been a problem for many of you this year-and I've been answering a few farm calls related to this. All of the rains we had made for great canopy growth, making it more difficult for spray to reach the target. Leafing...

Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 2:04 PM

To Spray or Not to Spray: Using the Powdery Mildew Index

Amador Eagle was the first mildew station in the foothills, now there are six!

Hi Fodder Family! What a busy spring, heh? For those at the trough who are of the grape grower kind, this spring has brought questions concerning what the heck is going on with powdery mildew.  To assist vineyard managers, I took a look at each of the 5 foothill mildew station's data and discuss it in a paper you will find linked here. Recent rains, followed by fluctuating cool and warm temperatures, have got some managers spraying while others are waiting anxiously.  Powdery...

Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 7:05 PM
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