The Napa Valley Grapegrowers announces ROOTSTOCK 2023, to be held on November 6 and 7 at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. This year’s event will focus on a central theme: weed management in the vineyard.
Though weed management in the vineyard is an integral part of the vineyard management system, there is mounting pressure to adapt farming methods to navigate public perceptions. And, as Napa Valley growers continue to strive for viticultural excellence, employing innovative best practices is paramount to increasing quality and sustainability in our vineyards.
ROOTSTOCK 2023 is open to the public, and the Napa Valley Grapegrowers hopes the focused format will inspire discussions in an open and collaborative manner. This year’s highlights include:
Who should attend: Viticulturists, vineyard managers, winemakers, enologists, vineyard and winery owners, students, and community members interested in learning more about weed management in the vineyard.
Single-day and two-day ROOTSTOCK tickets can be purchased online on the Napa Valley Grapegrowers website.
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers hosted its first symposium and exhibition, the Napa Valley Viticultural Fair, in 1990. Now, over three decades later, ROOTSTOCK has evolved beyond a tradeshow format, yet carries on the tradition of delivering top quality education and resources to the wine industry.
**BAAQMD permits open burning beginning October 1, however, CALFIRE can extend burning restrictions beyond this date. Best practices encourage waiting until after harvest and the rainy season to preserve local air quality and protect grapes.**
NVG's Low-Smoke Burning Technique & Other Alternatives
Permitted burn season runs from October through April. One of the easiest and most cost-effective alternatives to smoky burns for growers to implement is NVG’s Low-Smoke Ag Burning Technique. Use NVG's step-by-step manual available in English and Spanish to reduce black carbon, preserve air quality, and conduct virtually smoke-free burns!
Burning is an essential practice with no alternative when it comes to preventing the spread of vine pests and diseases. In addition to NVG's Low-Smoke Burning Technique, the use of fire box burners can also deliver a clean burn. For vines not compromised due to pest and disease issues, other alternative methods include chipping and grinding.
NVG's Vine Disposal & Open Burning Resources
NVG’s Low-Smoke Ag Burning Manuals and Task Force Webpage
Open Burning & Vine Disposal Requirements & Best Practices
Alternatives to Traditional Agricultural Biomass Burning in Napa Valley (2018), Daniela Bazán, Master of Science in Environmental Management
Cleaner Burns Archives - Napa Communities Firewise Foundation (napafirewise.org)
Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Burn Permit Information
BAAQMD'S 'Spare the Air' Status
Learn about BAAQMD’s Free Chipping Services
New Wildfire Risk Mapping and Report Software Available for Napa County
The Wildfire Fuel Mapper helps landowners and managers locate and understand fire hazards on their land, providing users with a set of tools and resources to reduce risk. It can also be used by professionals to support their clients in planning vegetation management projects.
The Wildfire Fuel Mapper helps landowners and managers:
Napa County Awarded $37.5 million for Wildfire Prevention
Napa County has been awarded $37.5 million for wildfire prevention, including reducing hazardous fuels and supporting defensible space efforts in the community. NVG provided letters of support for Firewise and the County for this funding.
Ag Pass Trainings Available
As a reminder, the Napa County Ag Pass Program provides official protocols during disasters to ensure worker safety and continuity of vineyard operations that prevent economic loss. In support of a safe, viable program, the Napa County Ag Commissioner's office posted recorded trainings on their department's Ag Pass webpage. The page offers videos and resources by UC (Livestock) and the Sheriff in both English and Spanish.
To access the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Wildfire Resources Library, visit our website. There you can find information on preparedness, emergency steps, recovery, and more. Resources are available in English and Spanish.
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) and Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) hosted their 16th annual Harvest STOMP fundraiser this past Saturday night, August 26, at Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville, CA. 2023 Auction Chairs, the Duncan Family of Silver Oak, brought together guests from generations old and new, that share a passion for the preservation of local agriculture and providing life-changing opportunities for Napa’s vineyard workforce. With the support of a dedicated community of grape growers, vineyard managers, winery owners, wine lovers, and vineyard professionals, Saturday’s event was celebrated as a revival of sorts, in which supporters re-committed to building a strong, bright future for a Napa Valley rooted in agriculture.
“The energy at Saturday’s event was beyond compare,” said Nate Weis, Silver Oak Cellar’s VP of Winegrowing. “It was rewarding to be among people that care so deeply about this community and the future of the Napa Valley.”
This year’s auction night celebrated generational investment in the local wine and vineyard industry, and all the hard-working families already building their own legacy for Napa Valley agriculture. To honor this year’s message, family-run wineries poured their wines alongside culinary experiences, like the ever-popular Hog Island Oyster Co. oyster bar.
“To gather a community with a shared passion for supporting Napa Valley agriculture is what makes Harvest STOMP so special,” said Sonya DeLuca, interim Executive Director of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, “We gather to raise funds in honor of those that made this precious place possible, and for all those that work every day to protect its future.”
Another highlight of the evening was the annual fund-a-need, which raises critical donations for the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation. The funds raised go directly to supporting the viability of Napa Valley agriculture, advocacy for the grape-growing community, and education and professional development for Napa Valley farmworkers. The generosity from supporters shined bright as paddles raised high under the auction night lights.
John Anthony Vineyards was the 2023 Harvest STOMP Presenting Partner; Mechanics Bank committed as the premier partner; Nordby Construction provided their team for on-site building; Sunbelt Rentals provided equipment; Allied Propane provided event fuel; Green Valley Tractor provided RTVs to support setup; Tre Posti served a family-style, coursed dinner; Regusci Ranch, Yount Mill Vineyards, and Tomgirl Flowers provided farm-fresh zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, sunflowers, and foraged items for floral arrangements; Napa Valley Luxury Restrooms provided elevated, air-conditioned, restrooms; Napa Printing, Design Studio and Mail Center printed auction materials and signage; Silicon Valley Bank sponsored the annual STOMP Store, which featured commemorative t-shirts, sweatpants, Lazy Susans, and hats; St. Helena Hospital Foundation provided guest hydration stations; wine was provided by Napa Valley Grapegrowers members; reception appetizers were provided by Hog Island Oysters, Far Niente, Groth Vineyards and Winery, Rosie Hospitality, Brix, Oakville Grocery, and Long Meadow Ranch; guests kicked up their heels to musical guests, the David Luning Band and the Lucky Devils Band; and Beau Wine Tours provided shuttles and complimentary safe rides home.
Save-the-date, the 17th annual Harvest STOMP will be hosted on Saturday, August 24, 2024. Reservations for the annual event are highly limited and sell out quickly. More information will be released in the coming months.
Napa Valley Grapegrowers and ETS Labs Baseline Data Collection to Understand Smoke Exposure Impacts on Winegrapes
Participate in this program and we will cover the cost of your grape sample analyses!
In partnership with the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, ETS Laboratories has been building a database of grape samples to help growers and winemakers better understand smoke impacts on winegrapes, work with insurance companies to protect your assets, and create individual baselines for the varieties in your vineyard. To date, this multi-year effort has helped to inform the global methodology around smoke taint testing. This 2023 season offers an excellent opportunity to expand this work.
Participate in year 3 of sample collection
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers received a grant to cover the cost of 80 extended volatile and glycosylated markers panels for growers. Proactively collecting samples prior to a fire event provides growers with an individual baseline that may be critical when working with insurance providers should we experience a significant fire event.
Members can get involved by collecting samples according to the protocol below. Thanks to the USDA ERME Grant for Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers is covering the cost of these 80 samples on a first-come, first-served basis. Varieties ETS Labs would like to see more of this year are Sauvignon Blanc (especially), followed by Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer for white varieties, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Zinfandel, and Malbec for red varieties.
With the 2023 growing season well underway, Napa growers are studying the vintage characteristics to date to help track trends. Below are a few highlights so far:
A Seasonal Reminder from the Napa Valley Grapegrowers
While the weather may be cool now, the clusters will need protection from the sun during the late summer and early fall months, so crews should be prudent when making canopy management passes during the next few weeks of the growing season.
BAAQMD Ag Burn Extension | June 30
Due to the late rains this spring, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) extended the date growers could conduct agricultural burns for crop replacement or pruning and attrition until June 30. For more information on NVG's Best Practices for Low-Smoke Agricultural Burns, see below.
Prescribed Burn Association Community Meetings
The Napa County Resource Conservation District (RCD) is hosting a series of community meetings this summer as the first step in developing a Prescribed Burn Association (PBA) in Napa County. The next meeting will be held via Zoom on June 28 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm.
If you have any questions or would like to be added to the PBA mailing list, please reach out to Danielle Ashton of the Napa RCD (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We continue to support the grape-growing community in fire-readiness and resiliency. This update includes important, upcoming deadlines and events. For access to all of NVG's fire resources, visit our website.
Fire Preparedness Town Hall
Tuesday, May 30 | 6pm - 7pm | Facebook Live
Napa County, CAL FIRE, and Napa Firewise will host a virtual Fire Preparedness Town Hall with Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza of District 4.
For inquiries about the Town Hall, email Ximena Espinosa, email@example.com.
USDA Program Deadline Extensions
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline for the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two and Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP) to July 14, 2023, to give producers more time to apply for assistance.
Napa County's New Defensible Space Compliance Certificate
The Defensible Space Compliance Certificate is offered to all property owners that are consistent with Napa County Defensible Space Ordinance and Guidelines, which includes commercial and residential properties. The County-issued certificate may assist with the property owner's insurance company.
Anyone interested in learning more can email Erick Hernandez, Code Compliance Officer of Napa County, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 399-1464.
Read the Entire 2022 Napa County Crop Report
Advocating for a Resilient Napa Valley
At the Napa Valley Grapegrowers we center our advocacy, research, and education on supporting the community, including the crucial preparation for, and resiliency in the face of, wildfire risks. We are grateful to all the industry and community partners that have worked with us on the following efforts.
To urge Napa County to include funding for fire-related initiatives in its five-year budget forecast, we recently sent a letter to the Napa County Board of Supervisors making this request. The letter seeks funding for a county staff department head for fire issues, Napa Firewise’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and a review of current and new early detection systems and technologies. Napa County’s action on these initiatives will provide oversight on CAL FIRE’s $30 million-dollar contract, help to reduce wildfire-fuel load, and identify new technologies that help to alert emergency responders as soon as a fire ignites, potentially saving the loss of lives and property.
A Commitment to Wildfire Resiliency at the Second Fire Resources Fair
Photo by Sarah Anne Risk
Our Fire Resources Fair expanded this year to include 60 vendors at the Napa Valley Expo. In partnership with the Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Firewise and CAL FIRE / Napa County Fire, the event was open to the public free of charge. Attendees were provided with a range of information for safeguarding their property, vineyards, and homes in the event of a wildfire—an ongoing threat despite our wet winter. By providing these resources, attendees who take action can potentially prevent and mitigate the risk of loss in the case of a wildfire.
If you missed the fair, you can find detailed checklists on wildfire preparedness for home and property, fire emergency protocol, and dealing with smoke exposure along with videos on risk management, crop insurance and proper record keeping in both English and Spanish.
Support for California Assembly Bill 54
In March, we submitted a letter of support to the Chair on the Assembly Committee for Agriculture on behalf of Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry's CA AB 54, which will create an advisory committee to recommend the distribution of state funds for winegrape smoke exposure research. Additionally, we provided a letter of support to four Chairs in the Senate and Assembly budget committees to request $5 million to research smoke impact on winegrapes. The losses from wildfires and smoke exposure potentially impacts all of California due to property loss, wage loss, loss of tourism, and loss of production due to smoke exposed grapes. Research to understand and mitigate the impact is critical to avoiding the catastrophic losses of the last six years.
Baseline Data Research with ETS Labs
It was a groundbreaking effort in 2021, when we formed a partnership with ETS Laboratories to conduct baseline data research on smoke exposure and wine grapes, building the world’s largest library of grape samples in the process. Now in its third year, we are happy to continue working with ETS on the findings of this research, which has the potential to influence grape-harvesting decisions in times of fire disaster and even insurance reform.
Insurance and Disaster Relief
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers continues to support Congressman Mike Thompson’s staff as they work to update the 2023 Farm Bill to improve crop insurance coverage and design a permanent disaster assistance program.
After more than two years of advocacy work, we continue to monitor the rollout of the Emergency Relief Program to ensure growers receive recovery aid. As part of this we continue to partner with Morrison & Co., to provide free technical assistance to producers, which to date has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in recovery aid awarded to Napa Valley Grapegrowers members.