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2021 Ahead of the Curve


Zoom - Details will be emailed to you from NVG staff before live webinar


9:00am - 11:30am


If you experience any issues with registration or do not receive the Zoom information by Wednesday, May 12, please reach out events@napagrowers.org for assistance.

Focusing on climate, agriculture, sustainability, and environmental farming, this seminar will provide thought-provoking presentations about how Napa Valley can achieve a climate positive future.


Michael Silacci, President, Napa Valley Grapegrowers & Winemaker, Opus One

Welcome and Introduction
9:15am - 10:15am
Dr. Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science, Director of PhD Studies, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies

A Science-Based Response to Solving the Climate Challenge for the Wine Industry 
Wine quality depends on climate, and (along with much of life on Earth) is fundamentally threatened by our changing climate. Growers and winemakers have the opportunity to lead in adapting to climate changes already underway, and preventing catastrophic future changes that are not possible to adapt to. In this talk, I will outline what a meaningful, science-based response to solving the climate challenge looks like for the wine industry. Three guiding principles are to simultaneously promote human and ecosystem health and well-being; reduce harmful practices at their source; and to strengthen the resilience of both human and natural communities to allow

Includes Q&A
10:15am - 10:45am
Dr. Kris Lowe, Owner, Vine Balance Consulting
Dr. Cristina Lazcano, Principal Investigator, UC Davis

Assessment of Soil Health Indicators & Incorporating Healthy Soil Management Practices 
There is an increasing interest among the grape growing community on soil health, and its impact on grape production, vineyard health, and ultimately wine quality. In this presentation, Dr. Cristina Lazcano will revisit the definition of soil health and will critically evaluate how it applies to the specific goals of winegrape production. Current research evaluating variability in soil health indicators and the establishment of soil health benchmarks across the main winegrowing regions in California will also be presented.

Includes Q&A
10:45am - 11:30am
Katie Jackson, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Jackson Family Wines

Building a Resilient Future Through Innovation and Goalsetting 
Join Katie Jackson, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility at Jackson Family Wines, for a discussion about the process behind the company’s comprehensive journey to develop a 10-year sustainability and climate action plan looking towards 2030 and beyond. Discover how this family-owned wine company is building collaboration among the wine industry to develop innovative solutions and create meaningful goals that move us towards a more resilient future in the face of a changing climate.

Includes Q&A
11:30am - 11:35am
Event Wrap Up 

Meet the Speakers:

Dr. Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science, Director of PhD Studies, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies

Dr. Kimberly Nicholas is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund, Sweden’s highest-ranked university. Born and raised on her family’s vineyard in Sonoma, California, she studied the effect of climate change on the California wine industry for her PhD in Environment and Resources at Stanford University. Since then, she has published over 50 articles on climate and sustainability in leading peer-reviewed journals, and her research has been featured in outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, Buzzfeed and more. She has also been profiled in Elle and The Guardian, and gives appearances at around 50 lectures each year, such as the recent Climate Change Leadership summit.
Dr. Kris Lowe, Owner, Vine Balance Consulting

Dr. Kristin Lowe has been studying, researching, teaching, and consulting in viticulture since 2000. Originally from upstate New York, she achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Sciences from Cornell University in 2000. Kristin subsequently attended graduate school at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and completed her Ph.D. in Genetics in 2006 with a focus on grape rootstock genetics and breeding. Kristin began her career in the grape and wine industry as a viticulturist and California licensed pest control advisor in 2006 in Napa and Sonoma counties. She has worked in vineyards ranging in approach from sustainable to biodynamic, and has consulted with small vineyard owners, large winery corporations, and everything in between. Kristin has worked with growers on pest management, fertilization, irrigation, viticulture practices, disease diagnostics, and vineyard development plans. She is passionate about working in the interface between viticulture science and practical farming and shares this passion with her clients in the pursuit of growing premium quality grapes.
Dr. Cristina Lazcano, Principal Investigator, UC Davis

Dr. Cristina Lazcano is a soil biologist and assistant professor of soil ecology at the department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California Davis. She completed her PhD at the Soil Ecology research group from the University of Vigo (Spain). Afterwards, she worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Calgary and UC Davis. Before joining the faculty of UC Davis in 2019, Dr. Lazcano was an assistant professor of soil ecology at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Katie Jackson, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Jackson Family Wines

The first-born daughter of California wine pioneers Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke, Katie Jackson is a second-generation proprietor working to keep her family-run business at the forefront of quality and stewardship. Katie actively promotes the Jackson family’s belief that environmental stewardship and social responsibility are essential to building family business that will endure for generations. Today, Katie serves as senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Jackson Family Wines, a position that is equal parts sustainability and advocacy. Katie launched the company’s first sustainability report in 2016 to highlight its decades-long sustainability journey and establish comprehensive goals and is currently spearheading the development of the company’s new resiliency plan launching in 2021. Under Katie’s leadership, Jackson Family Wines has declared a commitment to become Climate Positive by 2050, built the U.S. wine industry’s largest generation of onsite solar energy, and reduced its water use intensity 48%.

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