Wines & Vines: Pumps Can Save Energy, Money in Vineyards

Pumps Can Save Energy, Money in Vineyards

Sonoma winegrowers learn about financial incentives and technical tips for how and when to use pumps

Wines & Vines

by Jane Firstenfeld

Geyserville, Calif.—With water at a premium throughout California, pumps are vital equipment to deliver the ever-dwindling supply to thirsty vineyards. And though they’re crucial to all but dry-farmed operations, these essential systems are often misunderstood or overlooked. Sonoma County growers gathered at Francis Ford Coppola Winery on Wednesday to learn the ins and outs of irrigation pumps at a seminar sponsored by the Sonoma County Winegrowers, Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma County Farm Bureau and Northern California utility supplier Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).  The chief attraction came from The California Water Institute’s Center for Irrigation Technology at California State University, Fresno. Bill Green, education manager of the Advanced Pumping Efficiency Program funded by PG&E, towed his fifth-wheel mobile unit to an oak-shaded clearing near the Geyserville winery. It resembles a food truck, but instead of a lunch counter, the unit opens to reveal a working pump system complete with electronic testing equipment and a video display.

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