Trestle Vineyard April 2022

Trestle Vineyard April 2022

Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson, Erin Amaral and Jim Efird In Cal Poly teaching vineyard

Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson, Erin Amaral And Jim Efird In Cal Poly Teaching Vineyard

Mission Vineyard Project Vines Team

Twelve Vines Gifted To CalPoly Wine And Viticulture Department By The Wine History Project Of San Luis Obispo County. On Left Is Erin Amaral, Vineyard Manager Of Pacific Coast Farming And On The Right Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson, Assistant Professor Of Viticulture.

Two Heritage Mission Vineyards planted in San Luis Obispo County in 2022 – Celebrating 222 years of Viticultural History

The Heritage Mission Vineyard Project involves planting two Mission grape vineyards – the first at California State Polytechnic University  in San Luis Obispo and the second at the Dana Adobe in Nipomo. The Wine History Project is proud to be partnering with the Wine and Viticulture (WVIT) Department at Cal Poly. We are most appreciative of the support of Dr. Benoit Lecat, Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson and Erin Amaral, Vineyard Manager, Pacific Coast Farming and our own Viticultural Committee, chaired by Jim Efird.

Forty Heritage Mission Vines are delivered to Cal Poly.

On April 7th, 2022, the Wonderful Nurseries delivered 40 vines to the Trestle Vineyard on the Cal Poly campus. It was a glorious sunny day.  Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson, Assistant Professor of Viticulture at Cal Poly and Erin Amaral, Vineyard Manager at Pacific Coast Farming met retired viticulturist Jim Efird and Libbie Agran, Director of the Wine History Project to celebrate the 40 healthy vines propagated on their own rootstock after three years of anticipation. Twelve vines have now been planted in the H. Paul Fountain Teaching Vineyard , which allows for hands-on teaching in site evaluation and development, state-of-the-art cultural practices, and pest management located on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo. The other 28 vines were transported to the Dana Adobe and Cultural Center located in Nipomo to be planted in their new vineyard.

The H. Paul Fountain Teaching Vineyard

This vineyard was founded with a generous donation in 2001 from H. Paul Fountain to fund  the teaching vineyard, providing a transformative “learn by doing” education. Paul Fountain, a retired Cal Poly viticulture and fruit science professor, oversaw the first planting of a three acre section as a teaching vineyard for students in the 1970s. It was located in what is known as the Trestle Vineyard. Dr. Jean Dodson Peterson describes the impact, “Paul’s gift will provide students with the most up-to-date teaching resources in the area and provide a lasting impact on our department and industry.”  

During his career of over 30 years teaching at Cal Poly, Professor Fountain became very focused on the importance of the science behind cultivating good wine grapes. His research was instrumental in teaching the science and vineyard skills to students in pursuit of producing quality wines. Upon his retirement, Paul and his wife, Dorothy, contributed $250,000 to the university’s Wine and Viticulture Department to replant and rehabilitate six acres of the 12-acre Trestle Vineyard. The new vineyard blocks expose students to demonstration plantings of more than 100 wine grape, table grape and rootstock varieties. There is also access to research and rotational blocks where students can design and execute their own research projects. 

His gift wisely created an endowment to pay for the annual maintenance and professional management costs of this teaching vineyard. Pacific Coast Farming maintains the vineyards under the supervision of Erin Amaral. Sadly, Paul Fountain died on February 18, 2019. He was a graduate of Cal Poly in Fruit Science and earned a Master’s of Horticulture degree at the University of California, Davis.

Planting the Heritage Mission Vineyard at Cal Poly – May 2022

Pacific Coast Farming installed the first part of the arbor system in the Fountain Teaching Vineyard. The vines were planted at the base of the rail supports and are being trained up. They will be installing wires along the top of the posts to complete the arbor system later this year. This will create a shaded area under the vines where the students can sit and study. The Wine History Project will install educational panels describing the early Mission Grape Vineyards and wine production techniques at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Historical fact: there was an ongoing vineyard and winemaking competition in the early 1800s between Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission San Gabriel, home of the Vina Madre, Mother Vine. Stay tuned for the details.

The Fountain Vineyard

The Fountain Vineyard

Mission Vines

Vines Are Planted May 2022

Mission Vines 2

Twelve Vines Will Be Trained To Grow Into A Trellis To Provide Seating Area For Students

The Teaching Vineyard

The Teaching Vineyard

Mission Vineyard Project Vines

40 Mission Vines Are Delivered To Jim Efird And Libbie Agran By The Wonderful Nurseries

Jim with vines to be transported to the Dana Adobe

Jim With Vines To Be Transported To The Dana Adobe