Wild Oak Vineyard Demonstration Site in Suisun Valley, CA
Wild Oak Vineyard
As part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)'s Healthy Soils Program, the Wild Oak Vineyard is serving as a demonstration site for best management practices in Suisun Valley.
Since purchasing the vineyard in 2016, Wild Oak's owners have been looking for opportunities to implement management practices that minimize pesticide and herbicide use, provide habitat for native wildlife and pollinators, and help sequester carbon to mitigate climate change effects.
Through the Healthy Soils program, the following management practices will be installed:
5700’ of perimeter hedgerow with a focus on flowering species that provide resources for pollinators
30.3 acres of perennial cover crop mix in the vineyard
1.6 acres of new riparian habitat along Ledgewood Creek, a salmonid stream that borders the property
nesting boxes for native birds
Visitors can see the development of these practices at the Wild Oak property at Suisun Valley's major crossroads at the corner of Ledgewood Road and Manka's Corner Road.
Additionally, between January 2021 and February 2023, four demonstration field days will be held on the property (or hosted online). See our Workshops and Events for dates and registration information.
Suisun Valley is a region encompassing approximately 15,000 acres in the California Coast Range mountains. The valley lies near the top of the Suisun watershed; its creeks provide migratory habitat for salmonids and flow ultimately to the Suisun Marsh, the largest contiguous brackish marsh west of the Mississippi River. Suisun Valley's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers tempered by moist winds blowing inland from the Pacific coast, which cool summer evenings and reduce frost risk in winter. These climatic conditions are suitable for many agricultural crops, including fruit and wine grapes.
The Suisun Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1982, making it one of the earliest AVAs established in California. Both the Suisun Valley Vitners and Growers Association and the Suisun Valley Fruit Growers Association are active producer groups working to promote and support the agricultural enterprises in the valley.
The Wild Oak Demonstration Site has the potential to serve as model for the adoption of healthy soils, wildlife friendly, and carbon sequestration practices for the numerous producers actively involved in envisioning a vital agricultural production economy and culture for Suisun Valley's future; as well as to reach agricultural managers from beyond the region and Solano County.
Vineyard rows at Wild Oak prior to
cover crop installation