The Crush - May 2020 - 8

[ CAWG GROWER REPORTS ]

What's Happening in Our Areas

CAWG OFFICERS SHARE VINEYARD UPDATES AND INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

Mike Testa
CAWG Chair
Coastal Vineyard Care
Associates, Buellton

Tom Slater
CAWG Vice Chair
Slater Farms,
Clarksburg

Santa Barbara County ended
up with decent rainfall this
year, with most areas receiving
between 16-18 inches. Much of
this rainfall arrived late, leaving
our vineyard soils with good
clean water availability. While
the vines pushed a little later this year, they are making up for it
quickly with rapid shoot growth from the warmer than average
temperatures we are experiencing. It's a very busy time in the
vineyards, catching up on vineyard floor management, while
racing the vines on shoot thinning. Labor is starting to tighten,
especially with the complications COVID-19 has created for
H-2A contractors.

This season started out with
a lot of uncertainty, and
COVID-19 has added even more
uncertainty to the equation.
Some fields are without
contracts and more fields next
year will be without contracts.
Some fields are being removed and farmers are uncertain
about what to replace the vineyard with. There are a few new
orchards (both walnut and almonds) going in, but the jury is still
out whether the water table will be a problem with long-term
sustainability. As far as labor is concerned, I think it has been
adequate; however, soon other commodities in the area will be
needing that same labor and it may be an issue.

The market for row crop ground continues to be strong, so some
vineyard owners are taking the opportunity to rip out older
blocks and lease the acreage to alternate crops. Any vineyard
redevelopments are mostly limited to winery owned acreage,
where the future production has a home.

I think most people in Clarksburg are emphasizing the fact
that Clarksburg is a particularly good region with great soil,
climate and plenty of water. When we can get a safe handle on
the COVID-19 issues we will join the entire state in welcoming
back all buyers, visitors and consumers of wine. This is what the
Clarksburg area is hanging their hat on.

-Submitted May 4

8 / MAY 2020

-Submitted May 6



The Crush - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush - May 2020

The Crush - May 2020 - 1
The Crush - May 2020 - 2
The Crush - May 2020 - 3
The Crush - May 2020 - 4
The Crush - May 2020 - 5
The Crush - May 2020 - 6
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