As I’ve mentioned before, one reason the local wine community is so successful is that it works together. One corollary is how it shares information at many meetings.

Napa Valley growers, in particular, have a wealth of information offered. Let’s take a look at just some recent meetings:

April 23 was Weed Field Day, when John Roncoroni from UC Cooperative Extension took two groups through the Huichica Creek Demonstration Vineyard in Carneros to help the rapt attendees learn to identify weeds that commonly occur in vineyards.

In one session, Jose Chang from the Napa County Agricultural Commissioner’s office translated his comments into Spanish; the other was in English.

Unfortunately, someone had been over-zealous and tilled the field, so most of the weeds were small, but it was still informative.

In addition to identifying the weeds, Roncoroni discussed their occurrence, threats and controls, with many members of the large group adding their suggestions.

Then on April 24, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers held the second session this year in its series of Sustainable Vineyard Practices seminars in Yountville.

The well-attended session provided much practical information to the grapegrowers who attended, including a panel discussion featuring leading nurseries moderated by Remi Cohen from Cliff Lede Vineyards.

The focus of the panel was the problems growers face due to high demand for vines to plant – and the troubling explosion of grapevine viruses.

The morning also featured a whirlwind of hints on choosing and planting vines from consultant and grower Daniel Robledo and sessions on heat management of vines.

The Napa Valley Viticultural Group gathered to hear a talk by senior research scientist Martin Mendez-Costabel from E&J Gallo on vineyard irrigation strategies. He covered tools for evaluating soil moisture and water stress including recent technological advances for calculating water transpiration by grapevines using remote satellite imaging

Today, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group, UC Cooperative Extension, and UC Department of Viticulture & Enology hold the annual New Technology & Equipment Field Day  highlighting and demonstrating newly available vineyard equipment and technology at UC Oakville Experimental Station, again in English and Spanish.

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Tuesday, May 7, the Grapegrowers hold their annual Ahead of the Curve symposium at Silverado Resort. It will look ahead to 2030 with presentations on the future of the Ag Preserve, Napa’s place in the global wine market, real estate and land valuations, pest and disease threats and the future of farming, and more.

The winemakers’ group, the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group, is closed compared to the grapegrowing community, but shares information among its 150 members and periodically with growers.

The two groups, Vit Tech and Wine Tech, hold their annual dinner meeting together on Wednesday, May 15. Towle Merritt of Walsh Vineyards Management will discuss the hot subject of optical sorting of grapes at V. Sattui Winery.

Finally, one of the most important industry meetings of the year, other than the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in January in Sacramento, is on Thursday, May 23 at the Marriott. It’s the Vineyard Economics Seminar organized by David Free and his Silverado Premium Properties, a savvy independent vineyard investment company.

And that takes us to Auction Napa Valley starting May 30. It’s not an educational session for the industry, but clearly has a huge impact on local business.

It’s no wonder that Napa Valley growers get the highest prices for their grapes in the state. They learn how to grow the grapes better.

Email Paul Franson at paul@paulfranson.com.

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