At the Lodi Winegrape Commission, we have a deep respect for the efforts of growers, viticulturists, and vintners who paved the way for us to farm today. It is common for people to stop in and share newspaper articles, books, and bottles of wine from long ago. We love seeing photos of our smiling growers as children in the vineyard and we also find comfort in knowing that there were challenges in the past that we survived as a community, like Prohibition. A good reminder and a healthy perspective.

In our online Viticulture Library you can find day’s worth of interesting reads, many written on typewriters. Below is a University of California Cooperative Extension article from 1975 called “Mechanical Harvesting of Grapes for the Winery” that was written by Peter Christensen, AN Kasimatis, Jim Kissler, Fred Jensen, and Don Luvisi. Following that article is a video clip taken last Tuesday at our Mechanization Demo, co-hosted with E. & J. Gallo and Lodi Winegrape Commission Board Member Joe Larranaga at a vineyard managed by Pacific Agri Lands.

We’ve come a long way in the past 47 years but in agriculture innovation is a never-ending adventure. Part of the fun is fostering curiosity and a continuous search for creative ways to grow higher quality winegrapes more efficiently and more responsibly – which means different things to different people and requires looking back and looking forward. On this very morning in Lodi, some growers were using a fast and gentle machine harvester with optical sorting to bring in winegrapes for sparkling wine, while other growers were teaching people the dying art of how to head-train young vines into a gobelet style.

Whatever your definition of innovation and quality, we’re happy you’re on this exciting journey of discovery with us.


Click the photo above to read the 1975 UCCE mechanical harvesting article.

Mario expertly shows off the maneuvering ability of a New Holland tractor with a grape harvest attachment on July 26, 2022. Excuse my commentary – it was really amazing to see in person!


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