Grape harvest gets off to an early start

One California, One UC Davis

The crush is under way at many California wineries, including the LEED Platinum UC Davis teaching and research winery used by viticulture and enology students.  Department winery manager and winemaker Chik Brennaman says most operators are about two weeks ahead of schedule due to warm weather and drought.

He says it’s been a “tough year” and the UC Davis vineyards are showing signs of water stress:

Audio transcript

Brennaman says they’re doing all they can to control not just how much water goes into growing the grapes, but also the wine making process:

Audio transcript

The winery already uses captured rainwater (when it rains!) for landscaping and toilet flushing.

Davis scientists are also experimenting with re-using wine processing water to irrigate vineyards. Early stages of this study have produced positive results on a plot of grapes at the Francis Ford Coppola winery in Geyserville.

The UC Davis winery is part of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, located at the entrance to the campus.

*bonus audio with Chik Brennaman

Related:

Grape crush kicks off early at UC Davis (The Sacramento Bee)

Early grape crush kicks off California's winemaking season (Reuters)

Photos: Livermore Valley’s winegrowers conserving water during California’s drought (The San Jose Mercury News)