Huichica Creek Sustainable Demonstration Vineyard

Napa County

Huichica Creek Sustainable Demonstration Vineyard is managed and owned by Napa County Resource Conservation District. Miguel Garcia, NCRCD Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager manages the vineyard. Starting early 2022, the vineyard started undergoing  a redevelopment planning phase with only 3 acres remaining planted with Chardonnay grapes. The vineyard is also home to 85 cider apple trees. From the beginning, the goals for the vineyard were to demonstrate conservation practices including those to promote soil health, carbon sequestration, erosion control, water conservation, and irrigation scheduling. Before the redevelopment phase the vineyard included multiple cover cropping systems, vegetated avenues, large compost applications, a small biochar experiment, hedgerows, and multistory cropping (with apple trees). RCD has actively and passively restored the riparian corridor that runs through the vineyard. As one of the field trial and demonstration sites for the North Coast Soil Health Hub, RCD staff conducted soil sampling to measure carbon content, performed a Soil Health Assessment, and implemented the property’s Carbon Farm Plan. The site also serves as a location for public demonstration workshops and tours.

How the vineyard looked before the redevelopment phase:

  • Size: 14 acres of vineyard blocks; 21 acres total
  • Certifications: Landsmart and Napa Green
  • Varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
  • Sub-appellation: Los Carneros
  • Soils: Haire Loam, 2-9%; Cortina very gravelly loam, 0-5%
  • Riparian: 1,850 feet of creek and 4.2 acres of seasonal wetland


Carbon Farming Practices Implemented Include:

  • Compost application: 14 acres, 8-15 tons per acre (CPS 484)
  • Conversion of tillage to no tillage: 4 acres (CPS 329)
  • Mulch application: Orchard and Vineyard, 14 acres (CPS 484)
  • Wetland restoration: 4 acres – 15 trees and 50 wetland grasses (CPS 380/657)
  • Riparian Restoration: 2.75 acres (CPS 390)
  • Hedgerows: 0.15 acres (CPS 422)
  • Multistory cropping: Apple trees 0.75 acres (CPS 379)
  • Permanent Cover Crop Establishment:  4 acres (CPS 327)


Field Trials and Demos