California is no doubt dealing with an epic drought, and agricultural innovations are working to lessen the impact of farming on water availability. For vineyards in central California age-old business practices have been better at using just the right amount of water when needed, preventing overflow from sweeping sediments downstream. Rain catchment systems above buildings on Jackson Family Wines, and reservoirs on the properties have been able to save enough water to supply the vineyards for more than a year with no additional rain. Recycling winery processing water for irrigation conserves water further. New technologies are helping to more accurately measure exactly when and how much to irrigate a field of grape vines.
New agricultural flow meters measure the flow rate of sap within the grape vines and report when irrigation is needed. This practices saves on excess water used during irrigation, and allows the plants to “tell” the farmer when they need water. Jackson Family Wines has found that quality has improved as grapevines which are over-watered produce diluted flavors.
Click here for the full article by Christopher Skroupa.