Independent Grape Growers - Paso Robles Area
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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