Independent Grape Growers - Paso Robles Area
Gold Members


Central Coast Grape Expo – November 9, 2018


Don’t miss the 2018 Central Coast Grape Expo, November 9, 2018 from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Paso Robles Event Center. IGGPRA, along with many industry businesses are sponsoring the event.

The day kicks off with a welcome breakfast at 7:15 a.m. Sessions start at 7:30 a.m. and there’s tri-tip lunch at noon. You can earn up to 3 hours of PCA credit (including laws and regs), and up to 6 hours of CCA credit. There’s no cost to attend and you can pre-register at

Sessions and speakers include:

Grapevine Redblotch Alters Berry Ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon, Luca Brillante, Department of Viticulture & Enology, California State University, Fresno.

Herbicide Resistance: It’s Not Going Away, Scott Steinmaus, Department Head, Horticulture & Crop Science, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

State of the Central Coast Grape Industry Breakout Seminars

Establishment Success of Pest Resistant Grapevine Rootstocks, Jean Dodson Peterson, Wine & Viticulture Department, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

Biopesticides – Role in the Central Coast Viticulture Pest Management, Dan Rodrigues, Vina Quest & Wine & Viticulture Department, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

Grower Panel Discussion: 2018 Season Review, Moderator: Lowell J. Zelinski, Ph.D., President, Precision Ag Consulting & the Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area. Panelists: Neil Roberts, Erin Amaral and Greg Gonzalez

Laws & Regulations, Laura Ramage, Inspector Biologist, San Luis Obispo Department of Weights & Measures.

For complete details or to register, visit or call 559-298-6020.






So what is the Crush Report

The Utility of the Crush Report
By Audra Cooper
Broker/Partner at Turrentine Brokerage

Each year, around February 10th, The California Department of Food and Agriculture publishes the annual preliminary California Wine Grape Crush Report.  The final crush report is released in March. This report is a critical barometer for the wine and grape industry, containing tons crushed and prices of wine grapes sold during each growing season/harvest. The Crush Report provides growers and wineries insight into the inventory position for the California wine business as a whole, and influences market dynamics for the current bulk wine market as well as the upcoming harvest.

For our purpose, there are three tables within the report that give us the clearest picture of what was harvested and the price paid per ton.

  • Table 2 details tons crushed by California processors and is broken down by variety and district.
  • Table 8 details tons crushed by California processors with brix and the base price per ton paid. Specifically, when reviewing Table 8, one will see every ton of grapes crushed in California with an attached price per ton, whether originally owned by a grower or winery.  In other words, every ton of grapes that crosses a scale and that is crushed in CA must have a price per ton and brix attached to it that is later reported to the CDFA and contained in this table.  In short, Table 8 gives us a clear view of what was harvested, at what brix level, and at what price per ton.
  • Table 10, on the other hand, contains the weighted average grower return per ton. Table 10 is best used for district average pricing because it eliminates any fruit that is winery owned (estate, leased, etc.) which could skew the district average price per variety.  It is important to note Table 10 only utilizes data for wine production, unlike the similar Table 6 which reports grower returns for grapes going to wine, vinegar, concentrate, juice, and brandy production.

Professionally, I use Table 2 and Table 10 the most throughout the year.  I utilize both as a reference in presentations, interviews, and most importantly in the occasional conversation with clients.  Why only occasionally?  For the most part, the district average price does not greatly influence the spot market grape price and more often than not, each grower needs customized advice as well as the knowledge of all market factors in order to make informed business decisions.  Keep in mind when discussing the district average price per ton, we are essentially referencing a data point that occurred in the previous year and not the current times we are attempting to navigate.  That said, there is a lot one can deduce from the crush report, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me to further discuss.


Dr. Doug Gubler

There are times when events happen that are both sad and profound. One of the few UC professors who did applied as well as basic research passed away last week. Dr. Doug Gubler, UC Plant Pathologist was both amazing in his extension service to the grape growing industry throughout California but also in the basic understanding of grape diseases throughout not just California but throughout the world. He will be sorrily missed. He was a friend and an amazing source of information for many many years.

Please read the following article from Wine Business.

UCD Grapevine/Plant Pathologist Doug Gubler Dies at Age 72
by Ted Rieger
July 24, 2018

University of California extension plant pathologist Dr. Doug Gubler, perhaps best known to the wine and grape industry for his major contributions in the management and control of grapevine powdery mildew, died July 19 at age 72, reportedly from a heart attack. A faculty member with the UC Davis (UCD) Department of Plant Pathology since 1983, Gubler retired from UCD in June 2016, but remained active as a speaker at industry meetings and continued with research and consulting activities.

As a UCD plant pathologist, Gubler worked with multiple crops as a specialist in trees, vines and small fruits. He was a renowned scientist in the grape industry for his extensive knowledge of the epidemiology, management and control of grapevine fungal diseases, notably powdery mildew, Botrytis bunch rot, and grapevine trunk and canker diseases.

With research colleague Dr. Carla Thomas, he developed the Gubler-Thomas Powdery Mildew Risk Index, linked with vineyard weather stations to monitor and evaluate conditions favorable to powdery mildew growth based on vine canopy temperature. The powdery mildew index is commonly used by grape growers for deciding when to begin fungicide spray applications each season, and for proper timing of applications during the growing season.

His work on grapevine trunk diseases, and his lectures on the topic, helped growers understand that trunk disease, most commonly known as “Eutypa dieback,” could actually be one of several fungal diseases, and that over 20 canker fungal species are found in California. In addition to Eutypa dieback, other trunk diseases include Bot canker, Phomopsis dieback and Esca. His research on the timing and conditions leading to vine canker infections from fungal spores helped advise growers on practices such as late season pruning and “double pruning,” and the application of materials to pruning wounds to prevent infection, that are often used today. Gubler’s research group also showed that leaf removal could be effective for the control of Botrytis bunch rot and to help reduce powdery mildew.

Gubler was a frequent speaker at industry meetings and logged many miles throughout California each year in his extension duties to visit and assist growers in the field. He was a collaborator and a friend with many farm advisors and commercial grape growers.

In a recent e-mail sent to her grower constituents about Gubler’s passing, UC Cooperative Extension Central Sierra farm advisor Lynn Wunderlich said: “I first met Doug when I was a graduate student at UC Davis in 1994. His warm and jovial personality touched so many students, growers, and farm advisors. I collaborated with him and his lab for many years on apple scab trials in El Dorado County and later asked for his assistance to place the grape powdery mildew weather stations in Foothill vineyards. He was a popular guest speaker at my Foothill Grape Day many times. He loved his work and was always willing to come up and help with a diagnosis or problem. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Gubler also regularly conducted trials to evaluate new and existing fungicide application materials for their efficacy in controlling fungal diseases and to monitor disease resistance to fungicides. He collaborated with Clarksburg grape grower John Baranek for 30 years in one of Baranek’s Chardonnay vineyards to evaluate as many as 90 different treatments each season to test synthetic, biological and organic fungicides, and different combinations of them, for powdery mildew control. This vineyard then hosted an educational field day each season for growers to inspect the vines and grape bunches for the results of each treatment.

Gubler was an active member of The American Phytopathological Society (APS) that honored him in 1998 with its “Excellence in Extension” Award, and in 2009, as an APS Fellow. According to biographical information posted on the APS website, Walter Douglas Gubler was born January 28, 1946 in St. George, Utah. He graduated from Utah State College with a B.S. degree in botany in 1970 and received an M.S. degree in plant pathology from the University of Arkansas in 1974. He arrived in Davis in 1974 where he worked as a post-graduate research plant pathologist while also beginning studies toward a Ph.D degree in plant pathology that he received from UCD in 1982. He worked as a research scientist with the Campbell Soup Company at their research facility in Davis for one year before joining the UCD Department of Plant Pathology in 1983.

Canceled Chili Cookoff

Due to a lack of sign-ups we regretfully had to cancel the Chili Cookoff

We regret this decision and we are asking your help in determining the reason(s) for the low response rate for this event.

In the past it has been a popular event.

If you can respond to this email with the reasons you feel this was not an event that was popular we would greatly appreciate your input.

Please send a personal email to with your confidential comments

Thanks for you help

Lowell Zelinski

News from CAWG (California Association of Winegrape Growers)

Here is an article that appeared in the CAWG newsletter on 3-15-18

It talks about GWSS (Glassy-Winged Sharp Shooter) and PD (Pierce’s Disease). These are not currently a problem in the Paso area – but are a serious problem in other parts of the state.

Government Relations Capitol Report

The Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board is a model for how government and the agricultural industry can successfully work together to protect crops. However, the PD/GWSS program is facing a potential federal budget cut that threatens its continued existence.

The president’s proposed budget provides for a substantial cut, $13.5 million, in federal funding for the PD/GWSS program. Such a reduction in federal funding would, for all intents and purposes, result in a shutdown of the program, which has proved highly successful and important for California winegrape growers. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has requested $25 million in federal funding, the same amount requested last year. CAWG will work closely with CDFA to encourage support from the California congressional delegation for the request.

Winegrape growers have invested millions in the successful eradication of the disease and the vector. Continued trapping throughout the state will indicate if/when there are any reintroductions. Without adequate funding, the PD/GWSS program will have to decide which regions are most at risk and focus only on those regions. This is dangerous, as an infestation of Pierce’s disease anywhere in California threatens winegrapes all over the state.

Last year CAWG was successful in gaining $5 million in new state funding for the PD/GWSS program. This year CAWG will continue the effort of funding this critical program.

In addition to PD/GWSS funding, CDFA and CAWG are also seeking $6.55 million funding for European grapevine moth (EGVM) surveillance in California. Continued funding for surveillance activities is critical to ensuring timely response and eradication in the event of an EGVM reintroduction to the state.

— Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

January News

Rain – What Rain
Associate News


Winter Irrigations

If it rains between November and March we don’t need to irrigate in the winter. This year (2017-18) rainfall as been abysmal – with the only month getting some – but still way less then normal was January where we had about 2 inches in one storm. We’ve had a tiny bit (.25 inches or less) in another storm but it essentially doesn’t count.

Grapes don’t need a lot of water in the winter, but the roots are susceptible to cold injury. Cold injury will occur if low temperatures get into the teens, with some rootstocks being much more susceptible then other. In my experience 101-14 is especially susceptible.

One thing that can really help with cold tolerance is adequate amounts of water in the top 2 feet of the soil. This isn’t required to satisfy evapotranspiration requirements but more to mediate the fluctuations in soil temperatures. That is, wet soils temperatures do not change as much as do dry soils. What this really means is that on really cold nights, the temperature at the root depth in the soil will not be as cold as the air temperature.

The cold temperature effect is complex and has to do with hormones produced in the roots just before bud break and these effect the “pushing” of buds along cordons. In general, the hormones that encourage bud break are reduced and the number of buds that push – and produce clusters (yield) is reduced

My recommendation is that any month were the rainfall does not exceed 1 in, that WINTER irrigation be applied at about 12-24 gallons per vine. The exact amount depends on rootstock, soil, and current water content on the root zone (one of the reasons to invest in soil moisture monitoring sensors).


IGGPRA elections for 5 new board members will be conducted via email very soon as well as at the member annual meeting on February 16, 2018. The meeting will coincide with our annual spaghetti western mixer and is the only event that is for members only. Visit the website on 2/1/18 to see candidates and their bio’s. You will also receive a ballot by regular mail in the first few days of February

Associate News

Central Coast Party Helpers is a GOLD associate member and they help out at all of our mixer events. They are fantastic and if you ever have a party or event you need help with I highly recommend them. They are having an Open House this Wednesday January 31, 2018 between 5 and 7 pm at their new location at 503 13th Street in Paso Robles.

Check out their website

Election for Board of Directors Annoucement

Dear IGGPRA members,

The annual Board of Directors election is upon us. The IGGPRA membership is growing in numbers and diversity. There is skill, talent and enthusiasm throughout our organization. The Board Development Committee is opening nominations to the membership. We are requesting you to give serious consideration to nomination for a board position. This year there are 2 open positions. Voting will take place by mail prior to OR at the February Mixer to be held at Atascadero Lakeside Pavilion on February 16, 2018.

The coming years promise to be exciting. We will continue to have a positive impact on the viticulture communities we serve. The Board of Directors will play a central role in this important work. As you consider this opportunity, we ask you to review the board director position below. As you will see, we are expecting the board to be an active one.

A primary responsibility of board directors is to participate in the development of policy and major decision-making at board meetings. Another key responsibility is to be active on an ongoing basis on a committee of the board. Nominees will be asked to serve on one of several committees that are also outlined below.
Since its founding in 2003 IGGPRA has become recognized as a strong advocate for grape growers in our area and is reaching outside the Paso Robles area to our neighboring counties, providing educational venues, entertaining social/networking events, with more in the planning stages. We invite you to become a part of this growing tradition.

Director position requirements:

• A two year commitment beginning March 2018
• Attendance at board meetings held on the first Thursday of each month, 5-7pm – currently at Kennedy Club Fitness, Paso Robles
• Committee participation
• Assist at three events per year, for example seminar registration/sign in, event set-up/clean up or participation at the IGGPRA booth at expos and other venues where organization presence is of value to the membership

Committees include:

Membership Development
• Recruitment
• Outreach
• Management


• Topics
• Presenters
• Venue/Location
• Currently 8 per year

Social Events and Mixers
• Themes
• Venue/Location
• Currently 4 events per year

Special events
• WiVi
• Sustainable Ag Expo
• Paso Robles Grape Expo

Winery Outreach
• Marketing & Promoting Members Wineries

The Board Development Committee invites you to contact one of us to discuss your nomination. If you wish to be considered as a candidate for the Board of Directors, please call and simply let us know you would like to run. You will be asked to attend a short orientation meeting to review board responsibilities in more detail and have all your questions answered.

There are dozens of you that have been members for many years and could offer your experience to the organization. There are also newcomers who could share personal skills and values. You are all welcome and encouraged to call us and request to be nominated for election and help IGGPRA continue to promote our Mission Statement.


Board Development Committee

Cristy Christie – 805-674-0194
Scott Mathews – 805-878-3023
Bill Livingston – 805-712-8810

Recommendation for Memorial for Richard Sauret

Roberta – Bobbie – Weideman thought it would wonderful to have the portion of 101 at Wellsona named after Richard Sauret. So, she sent an email off to Supervisor John Peschong – the following is her request and his response

Dear Supervisor Peschong,

This e-mail to you is in regard to my recommendation that the section of Highway 101 and Wellsona Road in Paso Robles be named to honor Richard Sauret as the Richard Sauret Memorial Highway.

Richard Sauret was truly one of our greatest assets to our farming community for growing grapes and helped establish the Paso Robles AVA as one of the best.

Read more »

The 2017 Season in Review

The 2017 Season in Review

The fall is the time of change for grape growers in the Paso Robles Area. Grapes are harvested. Grape vines with vigorous canopies only a month ago are now losing leaves and going to sleep. It is time to invoice your wineries and hope they pay quickly, so you can pay your bills. Hopefully, in a few weeks you can relax and maybe even take a vacation.

You know that in a few short months you will be right back at it, worrying about frost, Powdery Mildew sprays, do I need a new purchase agreement, should I buy crop insurance, when do I start irrigation’s and many more things that make grape growing challenging and exciting.

But, before we rush ahead, let’s review the 2017 season. One of the biggest events of the 2016 (fall) and 2017 (winter and spring) was that we FINALLY got an average amount of rain in the Paso area and some areas, especially on the Westside, more than usual. This amount of rain was beneficial in many ways. It leached accumulated salts out of the root zone, and this lead to decent canopy growth for the first time in years. This caused other problems later in the season, but more about that later.

The rainfall did cause a few issues, namely later spring growth of cover crops and/or weeds in between the rows. This growth interfered with frost protection practices, i.e mowing, but I heard of very few instances of frost damage in 2017. Another issue associated with the “normal” amount of rain, was the ability to spray pre-emergent herbicides under the vines last winter. This lead to some weed control issues, but nothing really bad.

May, June and July all seemed pretty average, which is a good thing. The one thing grapes love is consistence. The can deal with warm weather and they can deal with cool weather, but not rapid changes between them both. There were a few times in May and June where we went from warm to cool to warm in just a few days, but in general these weren’t bad. July was consistently hot, but that is July.

Then came August and early September. The middle part of August was nice, maybe even cool by August standards, with many days having high temperatures in the 80’s. Then came the last week of August and the first few days of September. WOW! Some of my vineyards had temperatures which exceeded 110 for close to 10 days. Grapes are in general a hardy plant, but few plants (other than Cacti) are that hardy. It appears that yields were affected primarily on the eastside of Paso, with many blocks yielding less than 2 tons per acre.

My first harvest of the year is always a block of Sauvignon Blanc, that usually gets harvested in late August or early September. This year harvest was September 6th and I got almost 7 tons per acre. It is usually a high yielding block, but this was a record.

I was excited, that maybe it would be a good year for all blocks, but turns out that blocks right next to this one were some of the poorest I have had. Close, but not as bad as 2015.


Associate News


• An All-Wood Sustainable Pest Control Solution
• Designed in conjunction with Dr. Martin Cody
• Handmade out of wood by Amador County craftsmen – Four Models





IGGPRA Publishes Nov-Dec 2017 Newsletter

The Independent Grape Grower announce the publication of their most recent newsletter

Click here down load a copy

Or Click here to go to website page with all of the most recent newsletters

If you like to be mailed a “hard copy” send an email to