The Allure of the Estate Vineyard - A New Course On How to Grow Grape Vines and Manage Your Vineyard
by vineyard management instructor Carmine Indindoli
The allure of the wine country and the process of making wine is ubiquitous in Sonoma County.
For some of us, having our own vineyard is the ultimate step in the process. My purchase of a small site in 1975, so that I could have my own vineyard, has proven to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding activities of my 76 years. The first crush in 1978 resulted in 10 gallons of Sparkling Cuvée. I was really hooked---it was delicious. The steps leading up to it took about 8 years of work. In 1970, I undertook my first planting of vines in Los Altos along with class at Napa College. Then, in 1975 I made the big move to Sonoma County and planted the “real” vineyard. Many years of additional plantings and more studies at Santa Rosa Junior College and UC Davis came next. At SRJC I found a long friendship with viticulture instructor Rich Thomas who encouraged me to start a vineyard management company, which I did. And now, through The Beverage People, I am happy to find an opportunity to help teach others how to do it.
I don't intend to replace the programs that the local college offers, but most of them require a commitment of 32 to 48 hours of class time and additional time to get back and forth.
I've found there is currently a big need for a shorter version, preferably taught on Saturdays or Sundays to make it easier for people to attend. The first scheduled class will have broad coverage of the topic of establishing and maintaining a small vineyard. In future classes, we may approach topics in sessions and even perhaps have a day out in the field. The class(es) will have lots of time for questions, some written visual aids and a few demo vines. There will be lots of reference materials covering where to purchase vines and vineyard materials, and discussion of academic and consulting resources.
To become a “winegrower” brings you so much closer to the European tradition of winemaking!
About Carmine: Carmine Indindoli has vineyard experience going back to 1970. He studied viticulture at Napa College, Santa Rosa Junior College, and UC Davis. Carmine leads wine grape growing seminars, classes, and meetings yearly. He is a board member of the Sonoma County Vineyard Technical Group. He has established 125 vineyards throughout California and managed over 250 since 1970. Carmine specializes in establishing small vineyards as small as 24 vines.
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