Independent Grape Growers - Paso Robles Area
Gold Members


Richard Sauret, IGGPRA President Emeritus has passed

As the current president of IGGPRA it is with deep regret we announce the death of Richard Sauret. He died in a car accident on Saturday, September 30th at 10:30 pm.

Richard Sauret with his favorite Zinfandel

Richard was instrumental in the development of IGGPRA, was President of IGGPRA for many years and will be greatly missed. The time he gave to the grape growers of the Paso area was truly amazing. I can not tell you how many times I saw him at events for grape growers in the Paso area acting as a volunteer and in general helping out. I was truly impressed. He will be missed by lots of people.

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President Lowell Zelinski cover of American Vineyard Magazine

IGGPRA President Lowell Zelinski cover of American Vineyard

Congratulations to IGGPRA President Lowell Zelinski for making the cover of November 2016’s American Vineyard magazine!

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Smoke Taint and You

What to do when smoke gets in your vines
By: Becky Zelinski

When wineries ask you how you knew whether or not smoke taint has affected your vineyard, it’s best to be know the answers. Growers can find out how to be prepared at the September IGGPRA (Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area) seminar to be held at La Quinta Inn & Suites on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to smoke taint, the latest updates on Red Blotch and Bunch Rot will be discussed.

Like it or not, the California Central Coast has been affected by its share of smoke in 2016. It’s difficult to know at this point which vineyards have been affected with smoke taint and to what degree. Therefore, the million-dollar question on the minds of every grower is: has my fruit been affected; and if so, to what degree and what does it mean?

The short answer is: it’s complicated. Believe it or not, smoke taint is variable from vineyard to vineyard and even within a vineyard. The taint is caused by a

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Learn About Navigating Risks with Sustainable Winegrowing Practices

THURSDAY, JUNE, 16, 2016
9 AM – 12:30 PM (lunch included)

Eos Estate Winery, Heritage Room
2300 Airport Rd | Paso Robles, CA 93446

Free Seminar Sponsored by The California Sustainable Wine Growing Alliance, USDA, and The Paso Robles Wine Alliance.

Sign up today!


Download A Winegrowers’ Guide to Navigating Risks today
Learn how sustainable winegrowing practices can help to mitigate risk in the vineyard, winery and marketplace. Topics include drought mitigation, water conservation/quality, soil and air quality, pest management, employees, energy efficiency, severe weather and natural disaster risks, insurance and business planning and more.

RMA Guide Cover 2

Winning Grilled Corn Salsa Recipe by Ayako Williams

Saturday, April 30, Ayako Williams of Kula Vineyards ( took First Place for the Fiesta de Amigos Salsa Contest, she graciously shares this delicious winning recipe:



Grilled Corn Salsa


4 fresh corn ears
1/2 red onion
1/2 green pepper

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Central Coast Pruning Competition

IGGPRA helped sponsor the 1st Annual Central Coast Pruning Competition that was held Sunday February 28th in San Miguel. Local vineyard workers competed for the title “Best Pruner of the Central Coast”. Here is the story from the Central Coast Pruning Competition page:


The Central Coast Pruning Competition is proud to announce Felix Diaz (of Martinez Farming) as the winner of the 2016 competition. Competitors came out to Fronty Vineyards in San Miguel yesterday to use their talent, skill and speed to win not only prizes but the title of ‘Best Pruner’. Severiano Guerrero won 2nd place, Paulino Guerrero 3rd, and Eloy Nava 4th. Winners received cash prizes, event vests and a bucket of

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WiVi discount for IGGPRA members


WiVi Central Coast, is the premier wine and viticulture symposium and trade show in Central California. Now the largest wine industry event south of San Francisco, WiVi boasts 45,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space with nearly 200 exhibits and hundreds of new products, product demonstrations, educational seminars and networking opportunities for winemakers, grape growers, winery owners and managers.

The day-and-a-half conference and one-day tradeshow features concurrent sessions by top industry leaders on regional viticulture, enology and DTC topics and gives attendees the opportunity to understand and experience new trends and technology.

Produced by Wine Business Monthly – March 15-16,

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Crop Insurance Deadline – January 31, 2016

You must sign up no later than January 31, 2016,  to have coverage for this crop year. The federal crop insurance program is the only subsidized insurance plan that provides coverage against perils for your growing crops. Where to Buy Crop Insurance All multi-peril crop insurance, including CAT policies, are available from private insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA service centers and on the RMA website at:

Grapes are insurable if the vines:

  • Have reached the fourth growing season after being set out; or
  • Have reached the third season after grafting for all varieties. Many varieties of grapes are listed for each county. You must insure all your acreage of a particular variety in a county at the same coverage level. However, one variety can be insured and not another. For example, you could insure all your Chardonnay and none of your Merlot vineyards.

Counties Available:  Grapes are insurable in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Yolo counties. Grapes in other counties may be insurable by written agreement if specific criteria are met. Contact a crop insurance agent for more details.

Causes of Loss

You are protected against the following:

  • Adverse weather conditions;
  • Earthquake;
  • Failure of irrigation water supply, if caused by an insured peril during the insurance year;
  • Fire;
  • Insects or plant disease, but not damage due to insufficient or improper application of control measures;
  • Volcanic eruption; or
  • Wildlife.

Insurance Period

To insure the crop you plan to harvest this year, you must apply for coverage with a crop insurance agent before January 31. Insurance coverage begins in February for vineyards that haven’t been insured before and ends the earlier of the date harvest ends or November 10.

Important Dates

  • Sales Closing/Cancellation….…..January 31, 2015
  • Acreage Reporting……………….….May 15, 2015
  • Premium Billing…………..…………August 15, 2015
  • Termination…………..…….…………January 31, 2016

Price Election

The price used to calculate your premium and Indemnity. Price elections vary by variety and County. Contact a crop insurance agent for current information.

Coverage Levels and Premium Subsidies

Coverage levels range from 50 to 85 percent of your approved yield. Crop insurance premiums are subsidized as shown in the following table. For example, if you choose the 65-percent coverage level, your premium share would be 41 percent of the base premium.

Catastrophic Risk Protection (CAT) coverage is fixed at 50 percent of your approved yield and 55 percent of the price election. CAT is 100 percent subsidized with no premium cost to you. There is, however, an administrative fee of $300 per crop per county, regardless of the acreage.

Loss Example

Assume 65-percent coverage, 100 percent price election of $550 per ton, an average yield of 6 tons per acre, Chardonnay variety in San Joaquin county, and 100 percent share.

  • 6 Ton average per acre
  • x 0.65 Coverage level percentage
  • 3.9 Tons per acre guarantee
  • – 2.0 Tons per acre actually produced
  • 1.9 Tons per acre loss
  • x $550 Price election
  • $1045 Gross indemnity per acre

Price used above is for example only. Contact a crop insurance agent for current information. Where to Buy Crop Insurance All multi-peril crop insurance, including CAT policies, are available from private insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA service centers and on the RMA website at:

This fact sheet gives only a general overview of the crop insurance program and is not a complete policy, it has not been updated by the USDA since 2015.  For further information and an evaluation of your risk management needs, contact a crop insurance agent. Or, Teresa Doughton, USDA, at 530.792.5888

New PG&E Estrella Substation Proposed

The proposed improvements will help ensure electricity continues to be safely and reliably delivered to nearly 47,000 local customers by helping the electric grid accommodate recent economic growth and protecting against potential power outages.

To learn more about PG&E’s proposed upgrades, please visit For questions about NEET West’s proposed substation, please contact or 1-805-788-4435.

The companies will be hosting open houses on January 11 and 12 in Paso Robles to discuss the details of the project, including potential routes and substation locations, answer questions and gather your input.

Learn more by clicking here for the interactive map.

Times – They are a Changing – Part I

Times – They are a Changing (again)

Lowell’s Corner

September 2014

 A year ago (Lowell’s Corner September 2013) I titled my column “Times they are a Changin” due to the passage of an “Urgency Ordinance” by the SLO Board of Supervisors which IN THEORY limited new (vineyard) development and helped rural residents whose wells had gone dry. I don’t think either of the two things happened – but thus is government.

Now – however – there are a three bills in the state legislature which, if passed and signed, will have significant impacts on groundwater rights in the north county. To understand the effects of the bills

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