Office Hours Recording: Ch 1 & 7
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Office Hours Recording: Ch 1 & 7

posted: March 15, 2024

In this Office Hours webinar, we were joined by Bart Haycraft of Jackson Family Wines to discuss two SIP Certified Standards chapters:


Summary & Resources


Chapter 1

* Requirements

  • *1.1.1: You must have and update at least every five years a conservation plan based on the type(s) of habitat affected by new vineyard development and/or ongoing vineyard operations. A Natural Resource Conservation Service Conservation Plan or equivalent qualifies.
    • Use the template linked in the question.
    • Or, work with an agency (NRCS, RCD) to create a plan - they may have funding for these projects!
    • Having the template will help you in future years - Items that may not seem relevant one year could come up another year, and having a plan in place will be an asset.
  • 1.1.5: Are insectary rows maintained every 5 – 10 rows?
    • Insectary rows can be used to manage specific insect pests by attracting beneficial insects to your vineyard.
    • These are also a great way to increase biodiversity, which is always a challenge in monocrop farms like vineyards.
  • 1.1.6: Do you have bat boxes as a means of insect pest control and/or raptor perches or owl boxes as a means of vertebrate pest control?
    • Can be an intial expense, but maintaining and monitoring is rewarding for you and your vineyard.
  • 1.1.7: Do you manage adjacent habitat areas, outside the vineyard, to control the spread of noxious weed species?
    • Ease/difficulty of this question depends on your surrounding habitat:
      • Managing around woodland areas can be simple.
      • Vineyards surrounded by other vineyards can make grabbing these points more challenging.
  • 1.1.10: Does the site take advantage of natural landscape features (e.g. shade, hillsides, orientation, etc.)? 
    • A great example of how being in the program for years can help inform future plans:
      • The first year starts as analyzing practices that are already done. But over time, you become more aware of your vineyard habitat and are able to do things more sustainably. You start to create a plan for managing and developing future/present vineyard(s) will develop as you move through the program.
  • All Management Enhancement (ME) questions in this chapter:
    • This chapter has many ME points that you can pick up in the future.
    • The program allows and encourages you to improve your sustainability over time.

Chapter 7

* Requirements

  • *7.1.1: You must have a written program to eliminate offsite spray-drift that addresses but is not limited to:

Proper training for all persons making applications.
Calibration of application equipment.
Consideration of weather conditions including wind, rain/fog, and inversion layers.
Consideration for neighboring workforce and public interfaces.

  • Consider your area, crop, sprayer type, and sprayer timing.
    • Must understand your vineyard location and be aware of neighbors.
    • Part of consideration for neighboring workforce is having a good dialogue and open communication is key. This allows all operations to fully function and avoid incidents that prevent people from bringing their crop to market. 
  • Smaller vineyards may not have programs/tools that bigger ones do... :
    • Weather stations that measure wind speed.
    • Sprayers with shut-down nozels that automatically shut down.
  • ... but everyone can implement proper training:
    • Drift
    • Calibration
    • Weather
    • Materials
  • *7.1.2: You must have speed limit signs posted on main vineyard access roads to reduce dust.
    • You can take your own approach - make your own or outsource.
  • 7.1.3: Do you have a dust abatement plan?
    • Dust abatement can come in many forms:
      • Winery waste water.
      • Commercially available materials.
  • 7.1.7: What percentage of you tractor fleet is tier 3 or above?
    • ​​​​​​​A ME question that is a good reminder that these things are coming in the future.
      • SIP Certified evolves over time and helps growers keep up with the latest in sustainable winegrowing practices.
      • Take note of these questions and make a plan to implement them down the road.
  • 7.1.10: Do you utilize chipping or mulching instead of burning on more than 90% of your vineyard wood residue?
    • ​​​​​​​Chipping is more expensive than burning, but is better for air quality.
      • Something to consider when you handle your vineyard residue moving forward.
  • *​​​​​​​7.2.1: You must have annual trainings and/or signs posted in the language understood by your worker(s) explaining practices to prevent litter, debris, soil, and pollution from reaching storm drains and streams.
    • ​​​​​​​We're still learning a lot as an industry about pollution -- recording, managing, meainingful testings etc.
    • Training and eduation are essential.
  • 7.2.4: Do you calculate and record air quality metrics (i.e. CO2, ethanol)?
    • ​​​​​​​Can be more difficult, but gets you thinking about how to do this in the future:
      • Seek services
      • Or do in-house
  • *7.3.1 - 4
    • ​​​​​​​All of these are needed by other agencies. Having these done for SIP Certified helps you achieve these requirements for state and county regulations.
  • 7.3.6: Have you decreased your overall hazardous waste in the last three years?
    • ​​​​​​​Another ME that helps you improve your sustainability over time.
    • Reducing waste and analyzing your materials is something all commercial producers and suppliers should consider.
    • Example from Bart: moved from 225-gallon plastic totes to cardboard boxes with liners. Way easier on the environment because the cardboard is recycled and liners are sent back to the supplier.
  • 7.4.3: Are your dumpsters on a concrete pad?
    • ​​​​​​​Much more efficient -- it's easier to clean up off concrete than dirt!
  • 7.4.4: Is an employee responsible for routinely checking dumpster area for leaks, spills, and litter and trained to identify materials that may be unintentionally placed in the wrong dumpster?
    • ​​​​​​​Easy points-grab -- assign someone to do this! Keeps your workplace clean, and earns you ME points for SIP Certified.
  • *7.6.1: You must have a program in place listing all reagents and chemicals used in the lab and their proper disposal method as per SDS.
    • ​​​​​​​Should be done anyway, not just for SIP Certified. County, winery, SERS inspections, etc.
  • 7.6 ME points
    • ​​​​​​​Another reminder that these questions are here because they are the direction the sustainable wine industry is going. Being in the program helps you be aware of these and create plans to implement them in the future.