Jean-Pierre Wolff and his wife Elke bought their now 40-year-old Wolff Vineyard in 1999 and have become a model for enhancing on-farm resilience to climate change in San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley. Referring to his 125-acre vineyard as his “carbon management farm,” Jean-Pierre employs a combination of healthy soil practices, water management strategies and energy saving techniques. For example, he plants cover crops between his rows of grapes, applies compost annually, reduces chemical fertilizer application, and manages irrigation with soil moisture monitors, efficient pumping (e.g., variable frequency drives) and gravity.
Not afraid of innovation, Jean-Pierre uses a unique tool – the yeoman’s plough – which causes minimal soil disturbance and provides for both increased carbon sequestration and soil permeability. Aware of the need to continuously adapt to his climate, Jean-Pierre has implemented a technique called “dry farming” on some of his grapes, in which he does not use any added water to irrigate parts of the vineyard.
These climate-friendly farming practices implemented at Wolff Vineyard, along with Jean-Pierre’s unwavering community leadership, are crucial to ensuring agriculture plays a constructive role in addressing the climate crisis and contributes to California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.
A full description of Jean-Pierre’s climate-friendly farming practices is available here in our new fact sheet.