Overview of the 2016 Paso Robles Vintage Report Conference

Vintage Update

The 2016 Paso Robles Vintage Report took place on January 31st, 2017, at Vina Robles in Paso Robles, CA.  The first Vintage Report conferences began in Napa, California and France in 2010, but this year’s gathering was just the third iteration of the annual conference in Paso Robles since its beginning in 2014.  

The event aimed to provide an engaging environment for winemakers and grape growers to share their experiences with the 2016 Paso Robles vintage, and learn about new scientific research and technology at the forefront of vineyard management and winemaking practices.  The Paso Vintage Report lasted through lunchtime, and conference content was arranged to follow the plant calendar for the growing year, proceeding from winter/spring to fall harvest.

As the first and keynote speaker of the day, Eric Jensen of Booker Wines began the 2016 Paso Robles Vintage Report with a brief overview of the 2016 Paso Robles vintage from his perspective. He highlighted that 2016 was another year of relatively low rainfall, where adjustments needed to be made in the vineyard to deal with the extended drought. Eric also outlined how Paso Robles is a unique wine region in California, with a great opportunity to grow and continue to improve using the greatest wine growing commodity: information.

Scientific speakers at the Paso Robles Vintage Report include Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Johann Martínez-Lüscher (UC Davis), Alfredo Koch (Allan Hancock College) and Steve Price (ETS Labs). Following the traditions of previous conferences, we made sure that chosen topics are highly relevant to Paso Robles winegrowers.

Johann Martínez-Lüscher (UC Davis) speaking at the 2016 Paso Robles Vintage Report

Throughout the Paso Robles Vintage Report, Thibaut Scholasch of Fruition Sciences provided his insights into the 2016 vintage based on data collected in the region.  

Overall the 2016 vintage started with a steady amount of rainfall, and saw a reduction in dryness index compared to the 2014 and 2015 Paso Robles vintages. The larger amounts of rainfall in 2016 could have a carry-over effect and play a role in determining grape yield and quality in 2017.  For more detailed information regarding the Paso Robles results and discussion, as well as updates on the Vintage Report, including our upcoming conference in Sonoma, please visit the official website.

Chase Martin
Chase graduated from Whitman College in the heart of Washington’s wine country, Walla Walla, where he earned a BA in Chemistry-Geology with a concentration in groundwater modeling. He gained experience in scientific data collection, analysis, and quality assurance through research collaborations with professors at multiple universities. Chase has worked in a variety of research and technical positions in recent years, including as the Technical Manager for Semester in the West, a semester-long environmental studies field program offered by Whitman College. His love for the Walla Walla wine industry drew him back to Washington in 2016, when he began working as a Technician for Fruition Sciences. He now lives in Napa, and works as one of Fruition’s Client Data Specialists. In his free time Chase enjoys cycling, fly-fishing, reading a book somewhere outdoors, and testing his latest recipes in the kitchen.
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