Vineyard Field Day

Organic/Regenerative Winegrowing Practices Field Day at Paicines Ranch

May 22, 2021 | 9am - 3pm

Paicines Ranch, CA

A Workshop for Winegrowers on Vineyard Grazing, High Trellis Training Systems, Nutrient Monitoring and Fertility Management

Rams in whites1

Please join our expert team in-person at the Paicines Ranch vineyard for an in-depth exploration of the Watson (high cordon) Training System. We’ll take you from setup through full production and mechanization, including vine training and pruning for successful vineyard establishment, and the integration of sheep in the vineyard throughout the dormant and growing seasons.  Presenters will also cover assessing vineyard nutrition and the benefits of soil, plant tissue and plant sap analysis as well as organic fertilizer inputs.

*Space is limited to 25 people so please register soon!

— Educators —

Kelly Mulville by Elaine Patarini_3179

Kelly Mulville

Paicines Ranch

Kelly is vineyard director at Paicines Ranch and for the past 25 years has managed and consulted with vineyards, farms and ranches throughout the western USA, Spain, Australia and China. His work is focused on combining experience in farming and viticulture with holistic management in order to design and manage more ecologically, socially and economically sound farming practices.

IMG_0788 copy

Fritz Westover

Westover Vineyard Advising

Fritz Westover is Viticulturist and owner of Westover Vineyard Advising, based in Houston, Texas. He specializes in vineyard consulting for over 1,500 acres of vineyard and is active in research and education in the south and southeastern US, drawing from more than 20 years of experience in the vineyard industry including extension and outreach positions in Virginia, Texas, and California.


Jenny Garley

new age laboratories

Jenny is Chief Science Officer at New Age Laboratories (NAL), a lab that provides agricultural lab tests on everything from seed to harvest for customers seeking to increase their production. From backyard gardeners to family farms to commercial farmers, NAL tests plant sap, soil, and tissue for grains, berries, hemp, soybeans, and other crops, as well as water, livestock wastes, poultry, produce, dairy, and vineyards.

Greg-Learning Journey-20190430-KAB_0996

Greg Richardson

Paicines Ranch

As the Director of Research and Monitoring at Paicines Ranch, Greg coordinates long-term and short-term research efforts on the ranch and oversees all compost-related production. He is grateful to support an ecologically oriented approach to agriculture at scale. Greg joined the Paicines Ranch team in 2018 after completing an M.Sc. degree in Agroecology and Soil Science in Wisconsin.

— Agenda —

8:30 - 9am - Welcome & Check-In At Paicines Ranch Event Barn

9:00am - Introduction to Watson (high cordon) Training System.

Fritz Westover & Kelly Mulville

High cordon training systems are increasingly being adopted in the vineyard industry to assist with vineyard mechanization. However, there are a multitude of beneficial reasons to move to a higher fruiting zone than just mechanization.

The Watson Training System was developed as a means to horizontally divide a high cordon canopy and increase grapevine yields, improve cluster microclimate, and facilitate harvesting of fruit. As a healthy design advantage, it is also possible to graze animals in the vineyard year-round with this system, with the added benefit of improving microclimate for fruit ripening and mitigating spring freeze damage.

This introduction will cover the mechanics of the Watson System from setup through full production, including modifications for mechanical harvesting.

9:30am -A systematic review of vine training and pruning through vineyard establishment.

Fritz Westover

Proper vine training from the ground up is an essential component for vineyard success. This session will walk the growers through the first 4 years of vineyard establishment on the high wire Watson Training System. The methods of vine training and timing of trimming, tying will be covered in clear detail as they relate to trunk and cordon formation. Additional tips will be discussed for ensuring vines are balanced and maintain healthy vascular tissues for age-worthy vines. The methods of vine training covered in this in-the-vineyard presentation will also transfer over to other high cordon or VSP training systems.

11:00am -Integration of sheep in the vineyard.

Kelly Mulville

Effectively managing sheep in vineyards throughout the dormant and growing season is possibly one of the most beneficial practices available for improving vineyard/ecosystem health and profitability. Kelly will lead a discussion on grazing principles, and techniques as well as cover many of the issues and options relevant to establishing a successful vineyard grazing practice.

12 noon - Lunch by Paicines Ranch Chef Carlos Canada, or Bring Your Own!

** Lunch Registration is an additional and separate charge of $25. Please register and pay for lunch below **

Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch featuring lamb raised on Paicines Ranch and locally grown organic vegetables prepared by Chef Carlos Canada, formerly with Flea Street in Silicon Valley, and a master at creating fresh, in-season, organic, and local ingredient-driven meals.

Or, feel free to pack your own lunch to enjoy at the ranch!

1:30pm - Assessing vineyard nutrition with soil, plant tissue and plant sap analysis, and organic fertilizer inputs.

Fritz Westover, Jenny Garley, Kelly Mulville & Greg Richardson

Soil and plant tissue (whole leaf, leaf blade, petiole) analysis is a standard point of measure in the vineyard industry for determining the nutritional needs of vines and the rates of fertilizer to apply.

Plant sap analysis is gaining attention as an additional measure of plant nutrient needs in many crops, including grapes. Jenny Garley will discuss the benefits of sap analysis including the importance of understanding nitrogen parameter breakdowns (total N, NO3, HN4) and how the different aspects of nitrogen relate to pest and disease susceptibility.

The Team at Paicines Ranch will discuss the results from sap analysis performed from their vines from several laboratories and compare the results to plant tissue sample results. Measuring and monitoring the nutrient needs of a vine is the first step in a sustainable vineyard fertilization program. The next step is to adjust the practices and in some cases, amend the system with fertilizer inputs.

This discussion will conclude with some practical advice on how to address nutritional deficiencies with organic inputs, including compost, animal manure, and mineral inputs with regard to rates, timing, and application methods.

3:00pm - Wrap up and adjourn.

— Registration —

The cost of the workshop registration is $89 plus processing fees. Please register on Eventbrite below.

Space is limited to 25 people so please register soon!

Please note: lunch must be purchased separately. Click here for more information. 


A limited number of registration stipends are available for farmers and students based on financial ability to pay. Please email us at [email protected] to apply.

— Optional Lodging —

Traveling from afar? Stay at the historic Paicines Ranch and explore that the area has to offer. Lodging consists of an assortment of cottages, full-kitchen houses, and private rooms with endless landscapes.

Book lodging at Paicines Ranch here and make sure to use the code VINEYARD10 for a 10% off discount!

Alternative lodging options are also available locally. Please contact any of the below for more information:


— Location: Paicines Ranch —

Located in central California's San Benito County, Paicines Ranch is a historic 7,600-acre ranch that works to regenerate ecosystems by growing healthy soil, nutrient-dense food and vibrant, diverse communities. Using the practices of regenerative agriculture, the ranch team manages this diverse landscape in partnership with nature and livestock to produce 100% grass-fed-and-finished lamb and beef, and pastured pork, turkey and eggs. Paicines Ranch also grow organic grain, as well as organic grapes in a polyculture vineyard that is designed to be managed by sheep. Over the years, the ranch has become a renown destination for learning about regenerative agriculture through their programs and educational workshops while also serving as a treasured location for hosting weddings, retreats, and events.

— How We're Handling COVID-19 —

Paicines Ranch and the Paicines Ranch Learning Center follow all national, state and county guidelines with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, this workshop is well-suited for social distancing with the event being entirely outdoors. We prioritize guest and staff safety above all else and our entire team is working hard to be as thoughtful and thorough as possible in the midst of the rapidly changing landscape. We will monitor and continue to adapt our process as things change.

— Questions? —

For questions, please contact Megan at [email protected]


— Conveners —

Paicines Ranch Learning Center

The Paicines Ranch Learning Center (PRLC) has a mission to educate, inspire and connect people with new ideas and networks that advance healthy soil and healthy communities. Life in the soil is at the core of each gathering, convening and workshop that we hold. And the land is our key collaborator in the work to solve complex ecological and social problems. With our regenerative agricultural community, we are exploring and mapping a radically different path forward, and a commitment to educating ourselves.

Virtual Viticulture Academy

Virtual Viticulture Academy is a revolutionary way to become a better, more productive, and more profitable grape grower. Virtual Viticulture Academy provides a single, interactive platform to access practical, timely, expert viticulture advice and information that is easy to understand and apply for grape growers of all experience levels.