Dry farming was more widely practiced before the advent of irrigation. Irrigation has primarily been used to increase yields, but today's artisan winemakers often want smaller yields, that have more flavorful fruit, said Glenn McGourty, Farm Advisor, UCCE.
Here's a brief photo overview of the conference highlights:
|Heath Dolan of Dark Horse Vineyards opened the conference on dry farming with a tour of Dark Horse vineyard|
|This is where Dark Horse, which is biodynamic, mixes and stores their preps; the water fall is a biodynamic water dynamizer|
|Dark Horse has the most beautiful hedge rows I have ever seen; they were planted and designed by Alan York early in his career (his latest project was making Sting's new Tuscan winery which is biodynamic)|
|Plants were selected for a variety of reasons, including attracting bees|
|The group learned about Dark Horse's dry farming and biodynamic practices|
|Dark Horse makes about half of its own compost, using both manure and grape pomace; the rest is purchased from an organic dairy|
Joe Votek, President, Loma Del Sol and member of CAFF, talked about dry farming at his Sonoma site; "we have no water and never have," he said of the mountain top vineyard properties he manages.
|Glenn McGourty demonstrated the use of a pressure bomb to measure plant moisture (to indicate when to irrigate)|