The 2017 Central Coast Pruning Competition

The 2017 Central Coast Pruning Competition was a great success!

The morning started cold but dry, and the sun came out occasionally to warm us. After signing in entrants and judges discussed the vines, the scoring procedure and what judges look for when evaluating the pruning cuts.

One of the judges Joel Castaneda (Vineyard Industry Products) goes over the example vine with the entrants



2017 Judges: Lowell Zelinski (IGGPRA and Precision Ag), Richard Sauret (Sauret Vineyard), Craig Macmillan (Vineyard Team), Joel Castaneda (Vineyard Industry Products) and Dan Rodrigues (VinaQuest)

In the first round each entrant pruned 8 vines for time

Then the judges went through and evaluated each cut as well as overall consistency, effect on future growth and planning.


The entrants with the top 6 scores went on to the Prune-Off round to prune 8 more vines and determine the winners.

Judges Joel Castaneda (VIP) and Craig Macmillan (Vineyard Team) go over spacing with the 6 contestants in the Prune-Off Round.


And the winners were:


Thank you everyone who entered, sponsored, judged, volunteered and cheered on the contestants; we couldn’t do this without you!


2017 Central Coast Pruning Competition Entry Form

Entry forms are available here in English and Spanish 2017 CCPC Entry Forms


2017-entry-english 2017-entry-spanish

2017 Central Coast Pruning Competition

Hey everyone we’re getting together the 2017 Pruning Competition. Keep an eye out for posts here, on our Facebook page: CC Pruning Competition and our Instagram page: Central_Coast_Pruning_Comp.





Photos from the 2016 Pruning Competition

Photos from the Central Coast Pruning Competition:



Contestants study the example vine with Joel Castaneda of Vineyard Industry Products.



Judge Joel Castaneda from Vineyard Industry Products explains how the cuts are scored.

20160228_162952417_iOSReplacement Canes are worth 2 bonus points.



Bahco/Snap-On tools truck brought some great raffle prizes and giveaways.





Judges R-L: Lowell Zelinski, Richard Sauret, Joel Castaneda, Dan Rodrigues and Craig Macmillan


Octavio and Juan of Martinez Farming provided tacos for lunch.



Craig Macmillan and Joel Castaneda go over the ‘Prune Off’ round rules with the final four.


Judge Craig Macmillan goes over the use of loppers in the ‘Prune Off’ round with the final four.



Winners of the 1st Annual Central Coast Pruning Competition

The Central Coast Pruning Competition is proud to announce Felix Diaz (of Martinez Farming) as the winner of the 2016 competition. Competitors came out to Fronty Vineyards in San Miguel yesterday to use their talent, skill and speed to win not only prizes but the title of ‘Best Pruner’. Severiano Guerrero won 2nd place, Paulino Guerrero 3rd, and Eloy Nava 4th. Winners received cash prizes, event vests and a bucket of

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CCPC- Rules & Scoring Procedure

Rules for the Central Coast Pruning Competition competitors:

  1. All competitors need to sign in and be ready to compete by 8:30 am on February 28th
  2. Gloves, eye protection and boots must be worn by all competitors while pruning
  3. Winners must be present at awards ceremony. If a winner is not present; the place and prize will go to the person with next best score


Scoring Process:

  1. Each contestant will be assigned a judge and 6 cordon trained vines to spur prune to 2 buds
  2. The judge will time the contestant as they prune their assigned vines, contestant should announce when they are done and step back from the row. The Judge will then stop the timer
  3. The Judge will then go through and score each vine
      • Debris: any debris (canes, mummies, suckers) left on or around vine. All debris should be left in the center of the row
      •  Incorrect cut angle, location or proximity to bud
      • Grape Pruning Diagram
      • Double Spurs
      • Suckers left on the vine
      • Missed canes
      • Pruner damaged spur
      • Replacement cane
      • Replacement spur
  4. Time and score cards will be turned in and calculated
  5. Top 8 scorers will go into the “Prune Off” round: these contestants will prune 6 more vines


What is the Central Coast Pruning Competition?

The Central Coast Pruning Competition is an opportunity for some of the hardest working people in the wine industry to show off their talent; and showcase the hard work that gets our region’s grapes out to the world. Our area is known for winery, harvest and winemaker events and competitions, but Fronty Vineyards thought it is time we also honor the hardest working people of our wine industry- the men and women who work the land. Pre-dawn starts, midnight pickings, summer heat and winter chills the hardworking people out in the vineyard rows deserve recognition. Our wine growing neighbors to the north (Napa, Mendocino, Sonoma) have been putting on their own pruning competitions for 14+ years, and we think it’s time the Central Coast did too!


The competition is open to anyone who works for a Labor Contractor, Vineyard Manager or Winery/Vineyard on the Central Coast. And these companies can send up to 3 contestants to represent them in the contest. The competition is being held on Sunday morning February 28th. Starting at 8:00am with 5-6 person heats, each person will be competing for time and skill. The judges will evaluate their cuts, choices and overall vine management against their time. After everyone has pruned, the top 8 scores will go into a final round- the “Prune Off” where they will prune 8 more vines again for time and skill. After the “Prune Off” round we will have a BBQ and award ceremony to announce the Grand Prize winner and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place pruners. Depending on the number of entrants we might have separate Men and Women divisions.  The whole event will be a great time to socialize and meet the fellow vineyard workers and associates. The entire event will be put on by volunteers and is possible through sponsors. We hope to make it a great inaugural event for 2016 and even better in the coming years.


We look forward to a great day of friendly competition, BBQ lunch and 4 people going home with great bragging rights. Entry Forms can be found on our Events Page

We have a logo!

The Central Coast Pruning Competition is still in the planning stages, but I wanted to share our official logo: