The California wine industry has been in the midst of a prolonged boom for more than 30 years. In 1975, California was home to approximately 330 wineries; by 2006 there were nearly 2,500. There has been a dramatic shift in demand toward higher priced and higher quality table wines, as reflected in the total revenues and crush shares of the state's four major growing regions. We examine the major trends in the California wine-grape industry over the last 30 years, specifically differences that are arising between the coastal and inland growing regions and migration of the various wine-grape varieties grown throughout the state.
"Changes in consumption patterns in wine, almonds, olives and other orchard crops may be driving the expansion of these crop types in rangeland ecosystems. Wine grape acreage increased in the state during the time period covered in this study by 56%  with the contribution of the northern Central Valley outpacing the increase in more traditional wine regions such as Napa and Sonoma counties, due to the region's role in producing varietals whose popularity has grown in recent decades, such as merlot, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon . Increases in international consumption of almonds and olives may be contributing to the expansion of these crops in the region. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Land use change in rangeland ecosystems is pervasive throughout the western United States with widespread ecological, social and economic implications. In California, rangeland habitats have high biodiversity value, provide significant habitat connectivity and form the foundation for a number of ecosystem services. To comprehensively assess the conservation status of these habitats, we analyzed the extent and drivers of habitat loss and the degree of protection against future loss across a 13.5 M ha study area in California. We analyzed rangeland conversion between 1984 and 2008 using time series GIS data and classified resulting land uses with aerial imagery. In total, over 195,000 hectares of rangeland habitats were converted during this period. The majority of conversions were to residential and associated commercial development (49% of the area converted), but agricultural intensification was surprisingly extensive and diverse (40% across six categories). Voluntary enrollment in an agricultural tax incentive program provided widespread protection from residential and commercial conversions across 37% of the remaining rangeland habitat extent (7.5 M ha), though this program did not protect rangeland from conversion to more intensive agricultural uses. Additionally, 24% of the remaining rangeland was protected by private conservation organizations or public agencies through land or easement ownership while 38% had no protection status at all. By developing a spatial method to analyze the drivers of loss and patterns of protection, this study demonstrates a novel approach to prioritize conservation strategies and implementation locations to avert habitat conversion. We propose that this approach can be used in other ecosystem types, and can serve as a regional conservation baseline assessment to focus strategies to effect widespread, cost-effective conservation solutions.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; In Press(8). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103468 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was done in order to determine if there is a demand in California for wines originating in the Eastern European Country of Georgia. A survey was used in order to collect primary data from 100 respondents in two locations. The surveys were conducted in Pleasanton, CA and in San Luis Obispo, CA and were later analyzed using surveymonkey.com Microsoft Excel 2008. The data was analyzed using chi square tests, independent t-tests as well as observed frequencies and charts. The tests were used to determine demographic data about California wine consumers and to measure their interest in wines from Georgia. From the data collected, two groups were found in wine consumers. The first group was respondents under the age of 35, while the second group was those over the age of 35. The older age group was determined to be more interested in certain characteristics when purchasing wine, and was more likely to buy a wine from the country of Georgia.This study could be used by others to help understand the wine industry and consumer wants. For foreign import countries like Georgia this study may be very helpful in understanding how consumers in California choose wines and why they would be either likely or unlikely to purchase new and unique wines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proper sulfur management in winegrapes may potentially reduce both insecticide/miticide use and the human/social problems associated with sulfur's impacts on air quality and odors, particularly in wine tourism regions. Data from California's unique Pesticide Use Report (PUR) database, which records agricultural pesticide applications on all crops throughout the state, are used to determine if either winegrape grower's choice of sulfur formulation (dust only, wettable only, or a combination) or overall sulfur use rates (pounds per acre planted) correlate with annual miticide and insecticide use in Fresno and Madera (hotter–drier) and Napa and Sonoma counties (cooler–damper). Annual sulfur use has declined by 36–55% in these counties from 1993 to 2009. In 2000, the greatest number of growers in each county were combination users; wettable users were higher in Napa (38%) and Sonoma (34%) than in Fresno (24%) and Madera (10%); and dust-only users varied little (15–19%) across the four counties. Data for 2005 and 2009 showed similar trends. The use of high-toxicity insecticides in Fresno was 387% higher than in Napa–Sonoma in 2000, but was 25 and 8% lower in 2005 and 2009, respectively. In Fresno, wettable sulfur users used less high-toxicity insecticides; while in Fresno and Madera dust users used less lower-risk insecticides than combination or wettable sulfur users. No significant differences in insecticide use were evident between the three sulfur use categories in Napa–Sonoma (P = 0.97). On average, dust users in Fresno–Madera used more high-toxicity miticides than combination or wettable sulfur users in 2000. That trend decreased in the data for 2005 and 2009. Average miticide use in Fresno–Madera was higher than in Napa–Sonoma by 1349% in 2000, 1103% in 2005 and 146% in 2009. Higher sulfur use intensities among individual growers in Fresno–Madera were positively correlated with greater use of high-toxicity miticides in 2000 and 2005, but not 2009. The comparable results for Napa–Sonoma were less clear. Since PUR data represent statewide information on pesticide use decisions in real-world farming scenarios, it can complement data from field and laboratory studies. Expanding these analyses to compare pesticide use by individual growers across years, or to correlate pesticide usage with any published mite field surveys may shed more light on the enigmatic relationship between sulfur fungicide use and mite outbreaks in winegrapes.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 03/2013; 28(01). DOI:10.1017/S1742170511000603 · 1.36 Impact Factor
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