Independent Grape Growers - Paso Robles Area
Gold Members


Vice President Sept-Oct Report

Hello Everyone
So far this year, we have had 5 Seminars. Average attendance has been around 60 people and as high as 80+. This telling us that the topics and speakers are talking about things important to our growers and wineries. But we want to bring even more important topics to you, so don’t hesitate to make suggestions for future seminars. The base information in each seminar is to stay in sync with the growing cycle, while also introducing topics of important and interest.
The September Seminar will be held at JLohr and include such topics as preparing for harvest, handling unfair business practices (ie if a winery does not pay you), small scale wine making for the Grower and other topics

At virtually every seminar and mixer we get new members into IGGPRA. This is great news for the organization as it shows we are reaching people with vineyards that are either new at it or did not know about the benefits of joining. We also continue to get new Associate Members who want to provide our growers with goods and services to make their vineyards successful. Many of the Associates have utilized our eblast and advertising benefits to bring important information to you about their products/services— examples are Eurofins (Lab), Bird Gard (bird abatement), Black Diamond Vermicompost, and several others.

IGGPRA continues to evolve as an integral member of the Paso Robles area wine industry. We conduct most of the grower education seminars in the area, support the annual pruning competition and have reciprocal relationships with the Vineyard Team, Wine Alliance and Chambers of Commerce. We also are attending 2 Industry events each year (WiVi and Sustainable Ag/other) and plan to have a booth at the 2018 Winemakers Cookoff.

Under the direction of our Board, we continue to look for new ways to serve our Grower and Winery Members. We encourage any of you to visit one of our Board meetings, held first Thursday of the month at the Kennedy Club.
Best of Luck with your 2017 Harvest !!
Joe Irick

Red Blotch ID and a Request

Red blotch symptoms are becoming apparent – it is time to start looking for them. Also, I am posting a request from a master student from Denmark who would like to visit, help and learn about the Paso Robles Water situation.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have heard of a disease of grape vines called Red Blotch. It is a virus disease of grapes that somehow interferes with sugar accumulation in grape berries in the fall. The symptom appear in August and September. Initially, they are not on every vine, so I like riding and ATV up and down rows to get a “fell” for how many vines look infected. If it seem like more than 10% I get more serious and start actually counting.

Please note that the symptoms are most apparent in red grape varieties and can be very difficult to see in white varieties. To me, they are also more apparent in leaves that are lighter green, such as Syrah, but I have seen symptoms in all red varieties.

Also note that the distribution of red blotch symptoms on a leaf are “blotchy”. They don’t have a uniform pattern on a leaf, like leaf role. I am including pictures of the symptoms. They are not “definitive” but after you have seen as many as I have it become pretty clear. You can always test the vines to confirm.

If you want to participate in the government program to help with replanting cost you will need a lab sample anyway.

Pictures courtesy of Eurofins

About a week ago I got this email from a Master student in Denmark.

I think it it an interesting opportunity. If you have a interest – please contact him directly

Dear Lowell,

My name is Corbin Entz and I am writing to you by reference of our mutual acquaintance Jutta Thoerner, who has pointed me in your direction. I will try to keep the following short and to the point.

I am a Danish master student from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. As a central part of my master thesis I will be spending three months in Paso Robles, California, studying groundwater politics among landowning winegrowers. The purpose of my project is to explore how winegrowers in Paso Robles negotiate and balance individual and collective concerns in their use and management of groundwater during the political process of developing a local sustainability plan. I have attached a more detailed project description below.

It is my plan to conduct fieldwork primarily by working and living with winegrowers in the Paso Robles basin. However, gaining access to winegrowers is difficult as I am on the other side of the planet and emails are a poor means of communication. I require the help of someone who has a sufficient network among the areas winegrowers that can assist me in gaining access. It is my hope that you as the president of the IGGPRA might be able to help me with this in some way.

Put squarely, I am looking for 2-3 winegrowers who are willing to have me for some time (perhaps 3-4 weeks each). It is my conviction that if I wish to know something about winegrowers, farming and water politics, then I have to be there with the actual people. Therefore, I would like to work with winegrowers (not for pay) and if possible live on their farms. This is where I would be much appreciative of any help you are willing to give me. Perhaps you know of winegrowers who are in need of an extra set of hands and could find some aspects of my project interesting. They might be (but not necessarily) interested in groundwater politics, they might play an important role in the community or they might be the average winegrower who strives to produce great products. I will be asking questions about their use and management of water, but for the most part I simply wish to participate in whatever it entails being a winegrower. The work it takes, the planning it requires, what winegrowers do and think about besides tending to grapes etc.

I look forward to you reply! Thank you for your time.

Best regards

Associate News – VIP Lunch 7-12-17


Invites you to join us for a BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich lunch Wednesday, July 12th 2017 11AM TO 1PM

10 Volpi Ysabel Road Paso Robles, Ca

Come by and meet the newest member of our Team, Brian, and check out our



LUMINITE LIGHT TOWER for night harvest and events

and the latest in pruning:

FELCOTRONIC labor saver pruners

For more information please call Lee at: 805-226-9960

2017 Harvest Hoedown

Celebrate the coming of harvest in the Paso Robles Wine Country

at the Third Annual 


August 5, 2017 (Paso Robles, California) – Wine grape harvest is just around the corner in the Paso Robles wine country. Traditionally, farmers held celebrations at the onset of harvest to help usher in a bountiful season. The Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area (IGGPRA) is bringing this time-honored tradition back with its 3rd Annual Harvest at The Loading Chute barn in Creston, California on August 5, 2017, from 6 pm – 10 pm.

The Harvest Hoedown is a good ol’ fashioned harvest celebration where many old customs are brought back to life. The event was developed to let local growers kick of a little steam and to help promote the burgeoning wine region.

2016 Harvest Hoedown

“The Harvest Hoedown is an opportunity for wine lovers and other guests to mix and mingle with local growers,” said IGGPRA president, Lowell Zelinski. “One of the missions of our organization is to promote local wine grape production and help educate the wine loving community about what we do. Events like this are rare opportunities for consumers to meet growers and see another side of the industry.”

There will be a wood-pit barbecue, barn dance and a pie baking contest that all guests are welcome to enter. Guests can also take part in a Wine Walk, which is a spin-off of cake walks that were held in yesteryears. Everyone can participate in the Wine Walk and have a chance to win wine or other prizes.

Winners of 2016 Fruit Pie Contest

To help set the scene, the event is held in the historic barn at The Loading Chute in Creston, California. The small country town with a population of 94 people is set in the Paso Robles wine region. It was founded in 1884 on the Rancho Huehuero Mexican land grant, and now has its own defined AVA (American Viticulture Area) called the Creston District AVA. It has been home to celebrities such as Alex Trebek, Carrie Fisher and L. Ron Hubbard. The Loading Chute restaurant, where the event is being held, is a local, iconic favorite.

This year, guests can kick up their heels to the sounds of local favorites The Shawn Clark Family Band. They’ll be playing old and new country favorites. The barbecue includes tri-tip and chicken with all the fixin’s.

After dinner, guests can sample an array of pies entered in the pie baking contest. There are two categories: fruit and cream pies, and anyone can enter. The winners will be determined by popular vote. Complete details on entering the contest are on the website and you may enter when you purchase your tickets. Seating is limited and guests must be over the age of 21. Discounted early admission is $25/pp and $15/pp for IGGPRA members through July 26, 2017. After that regular admission is $40/pp and $25/pp for IGGPRA members.

Tickets are available online at

For more information or to register by phone, please call (805) 591-4204.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible:

Special Deals from Our Associate Members

As a associate member benefit IGGPRA will occasional promote special events and other deals that may be of interest to you.
Please support our associate members

Hidden Power Cycle Clinics

Jim’s Supply Company



IGGPRA April May Newsletter

2017MayJuneNewsletterPPlease read out latest newsletter- more info coming soon

Also posted in member area of Website

IGGPRA Chili Cook-Off

For most people who make chili, it’s a passion. It’s as richly steeped in ritual and tradition as it is herbs and spices. And cooking it is only half as much fun as sharing it. For the rest, tasting chili is a treat and the opportunity to sample several is a rare pleasure.

The second annual IGGPRA Chili Cook-Off to be held April 30, 2017 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Terra Mia Vineyards will give both chefs and samplers an opportunity to do both. This competition is fun and different because

Read more »

CAWG Webinar: Joint Liability – Growers and Farm Labor Contractors

Tuesday, APRIL 25 from 10-11 A.M. – Register Here!

For generations, growers have used farm labor contractors (FLCs) to supply workers when needed for various vineyard tasks. While the FLC has primary employer responsibilities, various legal decisions and legislation – such as AB 1897 – now make the grower jointly liable for issues such as unpaid wages, H-2A visa programs, MSPA and worker transportation, and worker safety and workers compensation insurance. It is increasingly critical for growers to have an understanding of the liability shared, and the need to evaluate and monitor their FLCs on compliance issues. The webinar is presented by Lupe Sandoval, managing director of the California Farm Labor Contractor Association.
Learn more about:

* Understanding joint liability
* Factors that increase the potential for joint liability claims
* Legal requirements and best practices to manage joint liability

* Resources to managing joint liability

Please note: Any vineyard management company that provides workers to a grower or other entity, is, by law, a farm labor contractor and must be licensed by the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Seminar Presentation Now Available in Members Section of IGGPRA website

This will be short and sweet. IGGPRA recently added a new page in the member section of the website which contains the presentations made at our Seminars. We will continue to do this and add presentations from the past as we get time.

This feature is available to members only and you must log in to be able to see that page. The link is in the left side menu near the bottom

For all members who have not yet renewed your IGGPRA membership you can renew at the same member page, but you should hurry because as of 4/1/17 your ability to log in will be removed and you will have to renew through the “regular” join IGGPRA method. Our you can just call (805-591-4204) or email ( and we will temporarily reactivate your account.

Lowell Zelinski
IGGPRA President


Reminder about Irrigation Survey and our March – April Newsletter


A couple of weeks ago I asked if you could help a student of mine with her thesis work on irrigation management systems. She needed 100 completed surveys and is just 20 away. If you haven’t already responded please do so by clicking on the link below. (You may have to copy and paste the link – I’m not sure) Thank you in advance for helping her out!



Additionally, our bi-monthly newsletter in its electronic form is linked to below.

Please let me know what you think of the newsletter and how you would like to receive it by emailing me:



We have a seminar this Wednesday: click here to sign up


BUD BREAK SOON – Are you ready?

Lowell Zelinski
IGGPRA President 2017