Dr. Paul Skinner
Ph.D. Soil Scientist, Viticulturist, Winemaker
Terra Spase Consulting, Napa, California
Paul has been working in the wine industry since 1982. He received a BS degree in Water Resource Management in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin, MS in Agronomy from Colorado State University in 1983, and Ph.D. in Soil Science from UC Davis in 1988.
He founded his consulting company, Vineyard Investigations, in 1988 to address vineyard soil and vine nutrition related issues. After several years consulting on soil related vineyard problems with numerous north coast vineyards he sensed the need for new and improved technologies for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. In 1994 he founded Terra Spase, Inc. one of the first companies dedicated to bringing new information technologies to vineyard management.
Terra Spase became one of the first private weather network managers in the North Coast operating Adcon weather networks in both Napa and Sonoma counties. Terra Spase also participated in the 1997 NASA sponsored CRUSH project to test and commercialize remote sensing technology for wine grape applications. Terra Spase continues to bring daily disease and weather forecasts to North Coast growers via its web site and offers NDVI imagery to client vineyards during the growing season.
In 2003, Paul and Terra Spase partnered with John Deere to launch a new technology for collecting soil data now known commercially as SISTM or the Soil Information System. Using this technology based on state of the art sensors, GPS and GIS software, Terra Spase and its partners have mapped thousands of existing and potential vineyard acres on the West Coast.
With the 2001 harvest Paul launched his Sequum brand and released his first vintage of Napa Valley Zinfandel from his 2 acre Kidd Ranch vineyard in St. Helena. In 2002, he added a Cabernet Sauvignon from four specially selected Napa vineyard soils and named it Four Soil Melange. In 2003, the first release of the most recent addition to the Sequum portfolio, a Sonoma Dry Creek Zinfandel called Riverwash, was announced.
Paul continues to consult for vineyards on the west coast and abroad and is also currently planning to expand the production of Sequum wines.