Thank you to our exclusive event sponsor, Tonnellerie Berger & Fils! Tonnellerie Berger & Fils is a french artisanal Cooperage based in the Medoc since 1954. They produce custom toast oak barrels for wine ageing.
Attendees joined Tod Mostero, Director of Viticulture & Winemaking at Dominus Estate, as he works with Josh Widaman, Estate Winemaker, and Gustavo Aviña, Viticulture Director, of Pine Ridge Vineyards to begin the process of transitioning a now fallow vineyard to dry farming. Dry farming doesn’t mean you just turn off the water – it requires careful forethought before planting a vineyard, and strategic management once planted. To pique your interest here is a feature that shares more about dry farming at Dominus.
Director of Viticulture and Winemaking, the French connection runs strong through Mostero, who studied in Bordeaux and trained at Château Haut-Brion, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix. He worked with Baron Philippe de Rothschild in the Languedoc and at Almaviva in Chile before returning to his native California to join Dominus Estate in 2007.
After 20 years producing highly rated Napa Valley wines, Josh Mendoza-Widaman found his way back to the Stags’ Leap district as head estate winemaker for Pine Ridge Vineyards. Josh is known for his experienced, luxury-minded palate that has produced 90+ ratings on over 90% of all wines made in his career, including Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year in 2016 with Lewis Cellars. He now oversees Pine Ridge’s estate vineyards, most notably producing elegant and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon.
Since 2003, Gustavo has worked intimately with every Pine Ridge Vineyards estate property. He and his team understand the soils and climates of the winery’s vineyards in five different appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros.
Join Ben Mackie, Vineyard Program Manager with Napa Green and Miguel Garcia, Sustainable Ag Program Manager with the Napa County Resource Conservation District as they share their grower services providing Irrigation Assessments. These assessments help identify opportunities to maximize irrigation uniformity and efficiency.
They will be joined by Tom Shapland, Co-Founder and CEO of Tule Technologies and James Nichols, President of HotSpot AG, who will share their technologies, often used in partnership, that help precisely target the timing and amount of irrigation, improving both irrigation efficiency and grape quality. A grower who has used these technologies shares their experience and benefits.
For the past 15 years, Ben has been designing and implementing regenerative farming systems in a variety of ecosystems. A New Englander by birth, Ben fell in love with agriculture in the verdant fields of northern California in high school. Ever since, Ben has been managing farms, improving soils, and educating the next crop of environmental stewards with a holistic view of farming with natural systems. No stranger to Napa, he previously lived on Mt Veeder, where he fell in love with the oak and madrone woodlands and made friends with the local ravens.
Before joining the Napa County RCD, Miguel worked for the Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire RCDs developing and implementing diverse sustainable agriculture programs. He has a PhD in Environmental Sciences and a B.S. in Chemistry from UC Riverside. Miguel provides on-farm technical assistance and planning related to soil health, erosion control, and irrigation management. He also designs educational programs aiming at providing local growers with valuable information on various topics related to sustainable agriculture.
Tom Shapland, PhD, is the co-founder and CEO of Tule Technologies, an agtech company that combines agronomic expertise with cutting-edge artificial intelligence to provide growers with irrigation decision support. Tule’s UC Davis research-based sensor technology measures the Actual Evapotranspiration (ETa) of a field. Tule’s latest offering, Tule Vision, enables grape growers to take midday Leaf Water Potential readings using a smartphone camera.
James has always had a passion for agronomy and technology. He participated in a project at Nichols Farms in 2013 aiming to provide better remote monitoring solutions. The project grew from a pure monitoring project into a full farm irrigation automation trial. After several years of development, James saw the potential of the technology and decided to start Hotspot Ag to expand deployments outside of Nichols Farms. He holds a degree from UC Davis in Crop Science and Management and continues to manage the Nichols’ farming operations.
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times, a position he assumed in June 2004 after having covered wine with The Times’s tasting panel and in his Tastings column for the Dining section, and is also the interim chief restaurant critic for the Times. Asimov created the $25 and Under restaurant reviews in 1992 and wrote them through 2004. He is a co-author of “The New York Times Guide to Restaurants 2004,” the fifth edition of the guide. He has also reviewed takeout food for The Times in his To Go column and has offered commentary on food and wine on WQXR since 1999. Asimov is a graduate of Wesleyan University and did graduate work in American studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is married to the editor of the New York Times Bestseller List, Deborah Hofmann, has two children, Jack and Peter, and lives in Manhattan.
Dr. Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, shares and discuss the 10,000′ perspective on our water future in this changing climate. Nathalie Jure, Director of Viticulture at Opus One Winery, shares their work to improve vineyard irrigation efficiency, including the use of recycled process water. Inside the winery the biggest water use is tank, barrel, and bottling line sanitation. Alex Farren, Founder and Chief Science Officer of BlueMorph, Inc shares this water saving technology and ROI calculation tool. A representative from a key sector of the wine industry supply chain, Tiffany Eicholz with Berger Cooperage, shares how they are thinking about and approaching water use efficiency. We have to approach this systematically – from actions within our vineyards and wineries, to our community, all of the way through our supply chain.
Esther Mobley is the wine critic at the San Francisco Chronicle. She joined the paper in 2015 to cover California wine, beer and spirits, a beat that has included reporting on California wildfires, reviewing local bars, profiling undocumented vineyard workers, naming an annual Winemaker of the Year and analyzing the movements of California’s $40 billion wine industry. She publishes a weekly e-mail newsletter called Drinking with Esther.
Dr. Peter Gleick is a leading scientist, innovator, and communicator on global water and climate issues. He co-founded the Pacific Institute in Oakland, one of the most innovative, independent non-governmental organizations addressing the connections between the environment and global sustainability. Dr. Gleick’s work has redefined water from the realm of engineers to the world of sustainability, human rights, and integrated thinking. Gleick pioneered the concept of the “soft path for water,” developed the idea of “peak water,” and has written about the need for a “local water movement.”
Nathalie Juré Buckland was born and raised in La Sarthe, The Land of Rillettes, in France. After interviewing her while she was pulling hoses during her internship at Errazuriz in Chile, Michael Silacci invited her to intern at Opus One in 2004. Nathalie did a second internship in 2005 before joining the team full-time. She is now Director of Viticulture at Opus One Winery and is responsible for all aspects of vineyard management, working directly with Michael.
Alex Farren is the Founder and Chief Science Officer of BlueMorph, Inc. a company that specializes in the design of UV light delivery systems to disinfect the interior surfaces of rooms, containers and other defined spaces. He has over 10 years experience and 19 patents issued on the delivery of targeted UVC dose to a surface irrespective of distance and material. He is now focused on the use of FarUV to provide people-friendly solutions that can be used more effectively in the battle against pathogenic microorganism. Ultraviolet light has the advantages of being a sustainable disinfectant, consuming no water and using no chemicals.
Tiffany Eicholz is Marketing & US Business Development Manager at Tonnellerie Berger & Fils since 2015. She is responsible for all business opportunities and market growth in North America while overseeing the communication and marketing strategy for the company. Tiffany began her career in the wine industry working alongside renowned winemaker Andy Erickson at Napa Valley Think Tank, an analytical laboratory and resource center for winemakers in the Napa Valley.
Scott Labs provides innovative, cutting-edge technology, products and services to their customers, including Destainex a biodegradable cleaning product developed specifically for the wine industry. Destainex LF saves time, water and energy, improves safety and leads to less wear and tear on equipment. They also offer CleanSkin, the benchmark product for one-process non-caustic cleaning. Read how Judd’s Hill Cut Tank Cleaning Water Use by 66 Percent by using Destainex.
BioFiltro is an international company with a patented worm powered wastewater system that catalyzes the digestive power of microbes and worms to naturally remove up to 99% of contaminants. They convert these nutrients into worms and worm poop, a healthy soil amendment. With a rapid four hour treatment process, they also prevent the formation of greenhouse gases and enable some customers to then produce carbon credits and/or reduce their carbon footprint. Wiggle with them for healthy soil, clean water, and a better tomorrow.
Tule Technologies provide tools to vintners to measure Actual Evapotranspiration, vine stress and wirelessly provide vineyard data that can be linked to automated irrigation. Tule sensors help growers answer critical irrigation questions about their crops like how much and when to irrigate. Read how Pine Ridge Vineyards and Chateau Montelena are Reaping the Benefits of Cutting-Edge Irrigation Technologies.
HotSpot AG is a farm management tool. Their first tool was developed to simplify irrigation and help growers comply with ever-changing regulations. Created by a fourth generation farm family, HotSpot AG is engineered to solve the problems farmers face in real time. Track, control and schedule irrigation with the HotSpot dashboard.
BlueMorph Waterless Tank Sanitation System is a UV-based technology that provides the first truly effective and environmentally-friendly method of sanitizing vessels and containers without the use of chemicals. Customers benefit from over 80% reduction in water use, no chemicals to dispose of, lower electricity use compared to other sanitizing methods and safe and easy operation.
Lumo is a smart irrigation system that enables growers to save water, improve crop quality and reduce costs. Climate change and population growth are forcing governments and growers to adopt new water management technology. Currently, the systems that growers are using for managing and tracking irrigation are broken and wasteful. Lumo’s technology will not only help them in terms of productivity and profitability, but it will also help growers become better stewards of the planet.
Napa Green | Megan Scott
Napa Green serves as a catalyst and facilitator to grow certified sustainable, responsible businesses committed to the environmental stewardship and climate action in Napa County. Our members stand as leaders exemplifying that sustainability and caring for nature and community elevates quality and experience for employees, customers and community, now and in the future.