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ACARN keynote Ann Thrupp - Climate Resilience in California's Wine Grape Sector

This presentation will include a summary of innovative initiatives, programs, and practices being used by winegrape growers and wineries in California to address climate change, and to improve sustainability and resilience to climate-related challenges. It will highlight policy measures, proactive steps to improve energy efficiency and adoption of renewable energy technology to reduce GHG emissions, as well as soil health practices to increase carbon sequestration and water conservation methods. Research projects and measurement protocols to assess GHG emissions and carbon storage will also be mentioned. Dr. Thrupp will identify lessons learned, stressing the importance of fostering innovation, proactive leadership, and diversity to enhance resilience and sustainability.

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ACARN keynote Ann Thrupp - Climate Resilience in California's Wine Grape Sector

  1. 1. Increasing Resilience to Climate Change Approaches in California’s Wine Grape Sector L. Ann Thrupp, PhD. Down to Earth Innovations December 2019
  2. 2. Unprecedented Climate-related Challenges in California • Changes in climate and water availability - Warming trend & climate fluctuations • Manifestations: – Physiological and phenological changes – New pests and diseases  increased stress – Water scarcity  decline in yield and vigor – Extreme events: Drought and Fires
  3. 3. California’s Wine Grape Sector: Key Factors for Resilience 1. Diversity – no single problem, no single solution (variable soils, water sources, geography, weather patterns, sizes, and practices) 2. Innovation  Proactive Leadership 3. Broad-reaching Sustainability Initiatives include climate adaptation and mitigation
  4. 4. Economic and Policy Context • California Wine Industry: 4th largest wine producing region, nearly 4000 wineries, 5900 winegrape growers farm more than 100 varieties of winegrapes in 139 unique AVAs • Policy: Stringent environmental regulations. CA Global Warming Solutions Act 2006 (AB32), provides funds for GHG reduction & climate- smart farming: Healthy Soils & Water Efficiency. • Organizational initiatives: Many programs by regional & state groups in the wine/grape sector
  5. 5. MANY “GREEN” PROGRAMS & CERTIFICATIONS: EARLY INNOVATORS & LEADERS IN WINE/GRAPES And more examples!
  6. 6. Growers & wineries actively involved in sustainability efforts; early leaders were concerned & took actions to address climate change, starting over 2 decades ago
  7. 7. THE CODE OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES (2002)A GROWER & VINTNER ALLIANCE California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) 400 pages; 143 vineyard practices and 104 winery practices
  8. 8. Meaning of Sustainability Integration of 3 goals – Seeking “win-win” outcomes Sometimes called the “triple bottom line”
  9. 9. Relationship between Sustainability & other Concepts Sustainable Agriculture Organic Biodynamic Sustainability is a much broader concept,
  10. 10. Broad participation in statewide CA Sustainable Winegrowing program – By numbers • 2,000+ vineyards & wineries participating in CA Sustainable Winegrowing Program (since 2002) - and many more in regional programs • 550+ CSWA workshops for nearly 14,000 people •Certification: • 715 Vineyards = 18.6% of CA acreage • 115 Wineries = 66.7% of CA case production) : CSWA, Allison Jordan
  11. 11. GHG & Vineyards Report • A comprehensive report that consolidates GHG information • A user-friendly handout – vineyard impacts on GHGs • Identified research gaps Funded by a CDFA Grant Source: CSWA, Allison Jordan
  12. 12. DNDC Project – Vineyard GHG and soil carbon sequestration • Quantified soil-related GHG emissions & carbon sequestration for CA vineyards/soil • Calibrated & validated DeNitrification DeComposition (DNDC) model using vineyard field data • Integrated into online metric • Inputs: Vineyard location, Row spacing, tillage practices, cover crop, compost, amount of N used Funded by a CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant
  13. 13. International GHG Protocol to measure winery emissions: 1st Released 2008; updated 2016 Wine Institute, with partners from Australia, New Zealand & South America
  14. 14. 17 VINEYARDS WATER EFFICIENCY 85% USED MICRO-IRRIGATION SYSTEMS THAT ALLOW FOR TARGETED IRRIGATION, OPTIMIZING WATER USE AND CONSERVATION. ENERGY EFFICIENCY 82% REDUCED ENERGY USE THROUGH WATER PUMP IMPROVEMENTS, WHICH TARGETED THE LARGEST ENERGY SAVING OPPORTUNITY IN THE VINEYARD. SOIL HEALTH 95% ALLOWED RESIDENT VEGETATION TO GROW IN THE VINEYARD, USED COVER CROPS AND/OR COMPOSTED TO ENCOURAGE SOIL NUTRIENT CYCLING AND PROTECT SOIL STRUCTURE. PEST MANAGEMENT 84% USED CULTURAL PRACTICES TO NATURALLY MANAGE PESTS, WHICH REDUCED THE NEED FOR PESTICIDES. SINCE 2013 802 VINEYARDS USED THE CODE TO EVALUATE AND IMPROVE THEIR PRACTICES. CSWA
  15. 15. 18 WINERIES SINCE 2013 138 WINERIES USED THE CODE TO MEASURE THEIR SUSTAINABILITY AND IMPROVE PRACTICES ENERGY EFFICIENCY 74% OF VINTNERS CONDUCTED AN ENERGY AUDIT OF THEIR WINERY OPERATIONS WITHIN THE LAST FIVE YEARS TO SAVE ENERGY, CONTROL COSTS AND INCREASE PROFITABILITY. WATER EFFICIENCY 84% MEASURED AND MONITORED WATER USE TO MANAGE IT RESPONSIBLY. CSWA
  16. 16. Additionall Energy & GHG Reduction Highlights - CSWA • Since 2005, 50 energy management workshops for >1,400 vintners and growers • 520 energy-efficiency projects resulted from 350 CA wineries • $37.6 million in PG&E rebates • 76,990 tons of CO2 emissions eliminated = 12,918 cars off the road for one year • CSWA also developed Performance metrics
  17. 17. Constellation - Fosters 1.7 million kw hours per year Dozens of Solar Installations in California wineries & vineyards in recent years (using incentives) J Lohr – 750 KW Tablas Creek Vineyards
  18. 18. Additional Initiatives: MANY VINEYARDS AND WINERIES ARE INVOLVED • University Research on soil health, GHG emissions and carbon storage in vineyards, and new varietals • Experiments in changing varietals in some areas • Cooperative Extension programs • Natural Resource Conservation Service (federal) support on Soil Health (Cost Share incentive programs, healthy soils outreach, etc.) • Significant non-profit organizations such as CalCAN and Carbon Cycle working on policies & science
  19. 19. Recent State Government Initiatives for Soil Health • Healthy Soils Incentive Program of the CA Dept of Food and Agriculture – Cost Share award program for soil health practices – $7.5 million in 2017 and $10 mill in 2018 – In 2017, 8 vineyard operations in CA received awards (up to $32,000 per award) - out of 51 total awards to farms – In 2018, 24 vineyard operations in CA received awards (up to $75,000 per award) - out of total 194 awards to farms Source: CDFA, 2019
  20. 20. Demonstrating Climate-friendly Farming - Case study of Fetzer/Bonterra Vineyards
  21. 21. Where? Mendocino County
  22. 22. Wine Industry Sustainability Initiatives build on experiences of pioneers Case of Fetzer & Bonterra Vineyards Fetzer: 2.5 million cases of wine annually, pioneer in sustainable practices in winery Bonterra: Leading brand of wine made with organic grapes in the US , 350K cases
  23. 23. Also certified biodynamic farming and wines on some Bonterra vineyards
  24. 24. “From the Earth to the Table” Comprehensive systems approach Vineyards and Ecosystem: Soil, land, water & biodiversity conservation, integrated pest management, air quality, etc. Winery: energy & water conservation, green energy, waste reduction, packaging innovations, etc. Social responsibility: employee safety & health , education, housing, support to community, etc. MANY EMPLOYEES ARE INVOLVED
  25. 25. Summary of Organic & Sustainable Practices at Bonterra – Early Adopters
  26. 26. Basic Approaches for Growing Winegrapes Sustainably & Organically – In Bonterra’s Vineyards • Building the health of the soil - – with cover crops & compost • Conservation of natural resources, including soil, water and energy • Integrated & organic pest management – Elimination of synthetic chemicals • Enhancement of biodiversity – In vineyards, grape varieties, and in soil – Around vineyards/landscape - ecosystem • Protecting health & safety of employees and communities • Improving quality of grapes (balance)
  27. 27. Start with Healthy Soil! Compost made from pomace) helps build healthy soil
  28. 28. Cover crops between the vines have multiple ecosystem services for vineyards
  29. 29. Cover crops and their ecosystem services in vineyards Cover Crops Increase carbon and organic matter and soil fertility Prevent erosion Improve soil structure & health Retain soil moisture Attract benefical insects Increase soil organisms and soil carbon Manage vine vigor Thrupp, 1998, adapted from UNDP, 1995
  30. 30. Organic  Biodiversity conservation & enhancement
  31. 31. Conservation of Habitat and Biodiversity in vineyards and landscape on Fetzer’s ranches: Habitat corridors, hedgerows, conserved areas, creek restoration • Approximately 40% of the land owned by Fetzer is in natural habitat, including riparian vegetation, grasslands, and woodlands • Part of this: Conservation Easement – Mendocino Land Trust on McNab Ranch – consists of 134 acres of vineyard & 276 forested acres
  32. 32. Documented benefits of hedgerows (UCCE /CSWA study, 2008)
  33. 33. Conservation of resources and biodiversity
  34. 34. Added Animal Diversity
  35. 35. Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy at the Winery 1. Energy conservation measures started in 1990s 2. Renewable Energy - Fetzer was first CA winery to purchase 100% renewable energy for winery electricity in 1998 3. Solar Panels on Admin. Building - 1999  40 kW photovoltaic system; 55,000 kWh a year 4. Solar Panels for bottling facility - 2006  899 kW photovoltaic system
  36. 36. 899 Kw, system – 4300 panels; 75,000 sq feet Power Purchase Agreement
  37. 37. Green Building & Zero Waste • 1996, Admin Building – Earth walls, recycled wood, energy efficient lighting, night air cooling, and solar panels • Waste Reduction program since the early 1990s – Fetzer has won many state awards for leadership in waste management
  38. 38. Climate Change Initiative: Green House Gas Inventory at Fetzer • Fetzer joined the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) in 2006 • Transitioned to the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) in 2010 • Comprehensive analysis of GHG emissions in winery operations using CAR protocol
  39. 39. 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Direct Emissions 2,904 2,917 2,340 2,188 2,102 Indirect Emissions 192 98 389 117 62 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 GHGEmissions,tonsofCO2equivalents Fetzer GHG Emissions 2005- 2009
  40. 40. Filling a Data Gap • The CAR protocol did not include methods to evaluate the carbon stocks from vineyards and habitat/landscape on the property • SO: Fetzer with UC Davis scientists undertook unique study to evaluate the carbon stocks (sequestration) from organic vineyards & owned habitat/wildlands (2008- 2010). – Thanks to Collaboration with Louise Jackson, John Williams and team
  41. 41. Study by UC Davis Collaborators – Fetzer /Bonterra Vineyards (2008-10) • RESULTS: Across all 5 ranches, estimated total C stocks averaged 113 tons/ha, totaling 135,337 Tons of Carbon – Above-ground C stocks average 30 times greater in forested wildlands compared to vineyards – Below-ground soil C also greater in wildlands—on average 16% higher than in vineyards at 1 meter (m) depth; but still have high values in vineyards. • By contrast: GHG emissions - 2,102 tons of CO2e from the winery (yearly) LE Jackson et al, 2010
  42. 42. Recent comparative study at Bonterra (Davis scientists) – 2019 • Bonterra’s vineyards farmed with organic and Biodynamic methods held 9.4%-12.8% more soil carbon per acre, respectively, than conventionally farmed vineyard. • Total carbon storage averages 63.57 tons/hectare – 89% of the total stored as soil organic carbon – Remainder C stored in vines, conserved forest and hedgerows
  43. 43. Implications • Fetzer/Bonterra properties enable the company to self-mitigate own emissions: • Averaging 64 times more tons of carbon stocks than C02 emitted in the winery • Better than carbon neutral, the vineyards & properties serve as a Carbon Sink
  44. 44. Continuing Climate-related Challenges to California Vineyards • Large-scale monocultural vineyards in some regions still lack resilience – Lack of diversity; Less flexibility in changing varietals and practices • Unexpected extreme events: drought & floods • Lack of consensus on measurement protocol for GHG/carbon; lack of data on economics of soil health practices
  45. 45. Concluding thoughts: Key Factors for Climate Resilience 1. Diversity – no single problem, no single solution 2. Innovation  Proactive Leadership - don’t wait until it’s too late 3. Broad-reaching Sustainability Initiatives. Agriculture is a key part of climate solutions; helps to have support by institutions, research & policies
  46. 46. Thank You Contact Information: annthrupp@gmail.com Thanks to Allison Jordan, CSWA for information on CSWA state programs, and Louise Jackson and Joseph Brinkley on carbon studies

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