From time to time, representatives of winery associations will give a glimmer as to the status of that region's water issues. Jolaine Collins works with the El Dorado Winery Association, and her quick report is that several El Dorado wineries are proactive with sustainable farming practices, including water conservation.
"In the Placerville area, Boeger Winery, the region’s largest grape grower and winery, works with the El Dorado Irrigation district on using electronic probes to monitor the vines’ water needs," Jolaine noted. "Greg Boeger told me that many of the region's wineries employ this irrigation management system to monitor and predict their vineyards' water needs on a weekly basis, and mentioned that both Boeger and neighboring Madrona Vineyards have specific vineyards that sometimes require as little as one application of water per year. "
In the south part of El Dorado County, the Fair Play wine region is faced with an even tighter water supply than its neighbors to the north, she said. "Without water storage facilities, Fair Play’s local water agency depends on Mother Nature for the south county's water allotment."
The El Dorado Winery Association includes 29 wineries, the majority of them family owned. Growing grapes in hundreds of microclimates from 1,200 to 3,500 feet, the county contains more than 2,000 acres of vines, and is home to approximately 50 wineries. El Dorado was designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983.
You can read more about water issues in the sister blog of winebiznews,
Thoughts on Sunday, October 04, 2009