Applicants can choose to certify their vineyard by implementing the rules covered in the Standards. Current participants should visit our Program Announcements for timely information. Following is an overview of the SIP Certified Vineyard process.
Overview and Critical Deadlines
The SIP Certified cycle is December 1 through November 30.
New Applications – Due December 1
Applications submitted after December 1 will be handled on a case by case basis. Complete and submit the following (from the Information Package) to 5915 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422:
- Vineyard Application
- Property map marked with acres
- List of vineyard blocks, varieties, and acres
- One time application fee ($500 for members, $1,000 for non-members)
- Mutual Confidentiality, Non-Disclosure, and Non-Circumvention Agreement
- Certification Agreement
- Certification Fee Worksheet
Renewal Applications – Due December 1
Currently certified vineyards complete a renewal through the online database.
Documentation – December 1 – November 30
Vineyard certification is completed in the online SIP database which allows growers to apply, renew, review vineyard information, document the Standards, complete offsite inspections, and save paper. See the SIP Certified Database User Guide for tips.
In order to qualify for certification, California growers must farm in a way that protects both natural and human resources. SIP farming practices, called the Standards, are based on a 1,000 point scale and questions are made up of Requirements and Management Enhancements (ME). Requirements are practices which must be completed and they prohibit the use of specific chemicals listed on the Prohibited Materials List. Management Enhancements are assigned various point values and are practices that build on the Requirements.
In total, the applicant needs at least 75% of the total available points from Requirements and Management Enhancements to be eligible for certification. All documentation must be present at the time of inspection.
Inspections – June 1 – July 15
Growers receive various combinations of documentation audits, interviews, and onsite inspections depending on their inspection Cycle, 1, 2 or 3. Growers should select an accredited inspector in May, submit documentation through the database and complete onsite inspections (where applicable) between June 1 and July 15.
Growers can find their inspection type by logging into the database -> Certifications -> View Application & Files -> scroll to Audit section and find “Audit Type” field.
- Full: Complete entire Standards plus onsite inspection.
- Documentation: Complete all Standards marked with “D”.
- Documentation & Onsite/Impromptu: Complete all Standards marked with “D” and “D+O” plus onsite inspection.
*Note: Growers in Cycle 2 or 3 with a Documentation inspection that have not received a Documentation & Onsite OR Impromptu inspection in the past 6 years, are eligible for an Impromptu inspection.
Year End Submissions – December 15
Applicant submits Standards 8.1.1 July 1 through Nov. 30 pesticide use reports and Chapter 11 Year End Nitrogen and Water Use Reports to inspector via the database.
Eligibility and Certification
Inspection reports are blinded and then reviewed by the Certification Advisory Committee (CAC) in August to determine eligibility. Staff communicates eligibility status to applicants in August-September. Final certification is granted upon the submission of the Certification Agreement (new applicants), payment of the certification fees, and December 15 submission of July-November 8.1.1 pesticide use reports and Chapter 11 Year End Water and Nitrogen Use reports.
- Application (one time): $500 Vineyard Team members / $1000 non Vineyard Team members
- Inspector: Estimated at $100 – $125/hour
- Paid directly to inspector
- Estimate length of inspection
- New applicant Cycle 1 documentation and onsite inspections will require 8 – 15 hours
- Cycle 1 inspections (for non-new applicants) will require 4 – 6 hours
- Cycle 2 and 3 documentation inspections require 1 – 3 hours
- Cycle 2 and 3 onsite inspections require 2 – 4 hours
- Cycle 2 and 3 impromptu onsite inspections require 2 – 4 hours
- Licensing (per acre):
|0 – 49||$20.00*|