Session

Vineyard Mechanization: Innovations for Successful Grapegrowing and Winemaking (includes tasting)
Grapegrowing Breakout Session

Vineyards are rapidly adopting mechanization to deal with the reduced availability of labor. What are the impacts of this new direction by the industry on vineyards and wineries? This Session is designed to address how innovative growers and winemakers are adjusting to the reality of producing high quality fruit with reduced labor inputs. Growers and winemakers across regions land price points will provide information on vineyard and winery practices used for grapes from mechanized vineyards. In addition, wines produced from hand-farmed vs machine-farmed grapes will be presented for evaluation.

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Moderator:

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Keith Striegler
E. & J. Gallo Winery, California

Keith Striegler earned his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 1990, his M.S. in 1982 and B.S. in 1979 in Horticulture Food Science from the University of Arkansas. He has been the Grower Outreach Specialist for E&J Gallo Winery since 2014. Prior to that he was the Outreach Coordinator for the National Clean Plant Network from 2012-2014. From 2006-2011 he was the Director and Viticulture Program Leader at the University of Missouri.

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Speakers:

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Joe Cotta
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Joe Cotta grew up on his father’s 600 acre vineyard near Lodi, CA. He received his BS from the California State University Fresno in 2001 and his MS from the University of California Davis in 2003. He worked as a viticulturist and grower relations representative in the North Coast of California for Allied Domecq Wines USA, before spending five years directing a vineyard and consulting business in St. Louis, MO. He joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2009 and continues to serve as the vineyard manager for Cold Creek Vineyard.

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Casey DiCesare
Scheid Family Wines, California

Casey Di Cesare is the Assistant Winemaker and Enologist at Scheid Family Wines. Casey received his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he competed in Track and Field and found his love for wine. This love brought him up to the Central Coast from Southern California where he took a job in the cellar at Cinquain Cellars in Paso Robles. He later returned to his native New York and received his master’s degree in Enology from Cornell University under advisor Dr. Gavin Sacks.

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Matt Frank
Trinchero Family Estates, California

Matt is responsible for leading Vineyard Operations at Trinchero Family Estates. Serving as Senior Director, he is responsible for overseeing Vineyard activities at TFE properties throughout the state of California.

Matt joined the company in 2012 as a Vineyard Intern and since then has held various positions in the organization including Viticulturist, Vineyard Manager, and was recently promoted to Senior Director of Vineyard Operations. Matt serves on various boards and has a personal interest in developing the next generation of Vineyard Leaders at TFE.

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Debbie Juergenson
E. & J. Gallo Winery, California

Debbie grew up in California’s Central Valley and in 1994 graduated from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. Right around that time, Deb and her future husband spent time wine tasting in Sonoma and she quickly realized this was something she truly enjoyed and wanted to know more about. She joined EJ Gallo Winery in 1995 as an analytical technician, followed by four years of wine chemistry and research before finally joining the premium winemaking team.

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Randy Kazarian
Kazarian Vineyard Development LLC, California

Randy started farming table grapes, raisins, peaches, plums and nectarines in Selma, CA when he was six years old with his family. Randy has his own wine grape vineyards and a management company, Kazarian Vineyard Development, which ranges year to year up to 15,000 acres in any given year, since 1988. These vineyards are located up and down the Central Valley, along with some acres of Almonds.  Randy’s management company is developing new vineyards on a yearly basis.

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Brian Mackey
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington

Brian Mackey joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2011 and was promoted to Head Red Winemaker in 2018. While winemaking has long been a part of his life through his family, his path to Winemaker is an unconventional one. He has worked in publishing, software, and for many years as a camera man on movies and television shows in New York and Los Angeles. Throughout all of these careers Brian has been driven by a desire to create something that provides enjoyment and enriches people’s lives. At Chateau Ste. Michelle he has found the perfect home for his various skills and passions.

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Allison Moore
Trinchero Family Estates, California

While Allison Moore was attending CSU Chico, an internship opportunity with Sierra Nevada Brewery’s Research and Development lab presented the realization that she could apply her B.S. in Biochemistry to making beer or wine. Always more of a wine than beer drinker anyway, after a short tenure she left the brewery for E. & J. Gallo in Sonoma, where she worked several harvests. Allison joined Trinchero Family Estates in 2014 and made the Central Valley her home. She supervised a large team of technicians in the analytical lab before joining the winemaking team as Enologist in 2018.

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Dave Terry
Scheid Family Wines, California

Dave Terry is the Lead Viticulturist for Scheid Family Wines in Monterey County. He received a graduate degree in Viticulture and Enology from CSU-Fresno with an emphasis on vineyard mechanization and its effect on canopy efficiency, vine microclimate and grape/wine quality. Dave has also worked in vineyards located within the San Joaquin Valley, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Washington State.

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