Right now, on very small blocks of his vineyards, which ride the ridge between Half Moon Bay and Woodside, underground probes are monitoring water absorption rates and radioing that information to a central computer, which then relays it to irrigation valves powered by thumbnail-size solar panels.“In a typical vineyard, you can find plants that are dying for water and undercropping, and you can find plants that are waterlogged and producing poor-quality fruit,” said Rodgers.The resulting technology — which Rodgers is starting to sell through his startup company WaterBit Inc. — is likely to conserve water and ensure more evenly dispersed and ripened grapes.The Waterbit technology will be a boon for large commercial grape growers and other fruit and vegetable farmers, who also use their irrigation systems to distribute fertilizers, called “fertigation.”“My propensity is to do everything 100 percent without any compromise,” explained Rodgers, who began reading academic journals on wine, started tinkering with ways to control and monitor fermentation temperatures, and even built his own press.In 2000, they took the brand commercial and bought two more pieces of vineyard property closer to the ridgetop, including the steeply sloped, ocean-facing property above La Honda where they built their winery into underground caves.Clos de la Tech was developing technology along a similar path, so he reached out, toured the vineyard (“one of the most meticulous”) and winery (“almost like Disneyland”), and gave his spiel about how valuable it would be to collect these aromas and then sell them to large commercial producers whose wines needed better bouquets.“The next thing I know, they’re flying me out there to talk about the aroma collection and utilization project,” said Goldfarb, who returned to work the 2012 harvest at Clos de la Tech and was then taught how to manage the vineyards by the renowned viticulturist Rex Geitner, who died in 2013.While the aromatic capture project is currently caught in a regulatory limbo — despite wide interest, it’s unclear whether the feds would treat it as distilling, and arcane state laws need some tweaking — Goldfarb, Massey and Rodgers continue to test the scalability of their integrated fermentation control system with UC Davis.Being surrounded by a commitment to making the best wine possible, and the intelligence creativity, and mind power that’s fueling the operation is really exciting and motivating.“If you bring that kind of scientific inquisitiveness to winemaking, where you throw in a living thing, from the ground to the grapes to the microorganisms, the complexity goes up by a factor of thousands,” said Rodgers, who can explain tannin molecule differences, anthocyanin ratios and quercitin creation at the deepest of levels.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
APRIL 04, 2013
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2013 - INTEGRATED SOLAR TECHNOLOGY, LLC
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