Grapevines need water to grow properly just like any other plants. Our vineyard is equipped with a state-of-the-art irrigation system that ensures all grapevines receive the correct amount of water. The irrigation system has been designed and installed by Irrigation Specialists of Grandview, Washington. At the main turnout from the SCBID canal, we have a 100 hp variable speed turbine pump with an ABS controller, which drives the water through 4 sand filters into the north-south mainlines that run up the West edge of the vineyard. A 40 hp centrifugal booster pump halfway to the top of the vineyard supplies water to the upper 80 acres.
The 10' mainlines are turned to the East into three valve cluster stations centered in the vineyard. Each valve cluster station serves 8 ten-acre blocks.The vineyard development has been "plumbed" for central management of 10-acre blocks of grapes, with the ability to manipulate 5-acre blocks by hand. In addition, wiring for an automated control system has been placed as part of the initial installation.
Our water is supplied by the Southern Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) under contract to the Department of Natural Resources. Unlike other irrigation districts with junior water rights, the SCBID supply has not been interrupted in the history of its operation.
One-hundred-percent of our grapes are watered via micro-drip irrigation. We use a 3/4" diameter Netafim micro-drip tube hung on a drip line approximately 1-foot above ground level. Emitters delivering 0.45 gpm are spaced at 3-foot intervals.
A private contractor, Irrinet, Inc provides neutron probe soil moisture monitoring services, and a WSU AWN weather station provides weather information. Data on soil moisture status, water system status, and real-time weather conditions are integrated and used to precisely assess the vines' moisture needs.