Vineyards can reduce water and fertilizer use with natural Persist™ biochar and PAF (wood vinegar).

How it works.

Ultra-Porous Soil Sponge. Persist™  premium biochar  has a massive "surface area-to-volume" ratio, enabling soil to hold water up to 6x longer compared to soil without biochar. One ounce of Persist™ has a surface area equal to 1-1/2 football fields.

The Coral Reef of the Soil. The microscopic pores of Persist™ biochar provide a home for an abundance of microorganisms in the soil, creating a strong rhizosphere with significant plant beneficial microbiome and enhanced nutrient binding.

Better Nutrient Utilization.
Persist™ PAF (wood vinegar) lowers the cluster value of water, allowing roots to more easily absorb water and nutrients. The result is reduced fertilization, which is better for the environment and better for your bottom line.

Harness A Secret Weapon Encoded in Plant Evolution

Karrikins, found in Persist™ PAF and biochar, are natural signaling compounds that stimulate seed germination and plant development leading to increased vigor, branching, and productivity.

Let's reverse climate change.

Persist™ biochar is the captured carbon from waste pistachio shells, which would otherwise decompose in a landfill and release carbon back into the atmosphere. When put in the ground, the carbon is sequestered for generations.

Climate experts estimate that biochar alone could address as much as 40% of the needed carbon removal, while simultaneously mitigating other environmental issues.

How Persist™ biochar is made.

This is VGrid's M100 Bioserver – A mobile, modular, and scalable biomass gasification system.


VGrid's proprietary technology uses an advanced high-temperature process to produce clean, renewable energy and premium biochar.


The waste biomass (pistachio shells) are combusted in a special chamber with very low oxygen and ultra-high temperatures (~1,300°C).


The activated carbon (biochar) is formed, while gases created in the process (SynGas) are cooled, cleaned, and then fed into an internal combustion engine to produce electricity.


The resulting biochar has very high porosity and fixed carbon content (+90%), with very low ash (<4%) and VOCs.  These are the characteristics of high-quality biochar that should be verified with third-party lab analysis.

How Persist™ benefits viticulture.

The growing need for improved water management is one of the prime benefits seen in vineyards. Most of the benefits of biochar are derived from its exceptional porosity and surface area, which include:

  • Increased water retention
  • Increased soil carbon
  • Nutrient release leveling
  • Soil structure management
  • Soil biota improvement
  • Soil contamination mitigation
  • Reduced soil compaction

The result is increased yields, with growers seeing payback in 2-3 harvests, with no negative impact on grape characteristics.

From a four-year field study in Tuscany, Italy ...


“The effect of biochar application on vine yield and grape quality parameters is here investigated in a non-irrigated vineyard in Tuscany (central Italy). Results from four harvest-years showed a higher productivity, up to 66%, of treated plots with respect to their controls, while no significant differences were observed in grape quality parameters. The observed increase in productivity was inversely correlated with rainfall in the vegetative period, confirming the key role of biochar in regulating plant water availability. These findings support the feasibility of a biochar-based strategy as an effective adaptation measure to reduce the impact of water stress periods with no negative effects on grape quality.”


SOURCE: Biochar increases vineyard productivity without affecting grape quality: Results from a four years field experiment in Tuscany; L. Genesio, F.
Miglietta, S. Baronti, F. Vaccari; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 201 (2015) 20–25; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.11.021

Additional information can be found on the U.S. Biochar Initiative Website: Biochar Uses In Viticulture

How to use Persist™ in your vineyard.

For new plantings, biochar can be used as a nursery or rootstock growing medium and/or as a bulk soil additive.


Persist™ biochar is best mixed with compost and planting soil prior to application, at a rate of 10 to 20% by volume.  Assuming 1000 vines per acre and a typical 10 liter hole for each vine, the amount of biochar required is about 4-5 tons per acre.


Biochar can be hand mixed at the bore hole, or bulk mixed off-site with compost and/or planting soil and brought to the site.


Persist™ PAF (wood vinegar) should be applied after planting and periodically throughout the life of a plant.  An initial soaking spray at a good volume of flow is the best way to start; this will help both young plants as well as germination of seeds. 


PAF is concentrated and must be diluted to between a 300:1 to 500:1 ratio before application by foliar or soaking spray.  A 300:1 ratio is recommended. 

A common practice for many growers is to apply a top dressing and mulch covering along the rows of vines annually, which is typically done using a side delivery bulk feeder.


A typical mix is 50% compost, 10% biochar, and 40% mulch by volume.  Roughly 8-10 tons of biochar is typically needed.


If interplanting cover crops as part of this process, the seeds can be premixed with the biochar/compost mix being broadcasted.


Persist™ PAF (wood vinegar) should be sprayed lightly every few weeks. Spray the leaves and the ground around the stem, giving the spray 30 minutes to 1 hour to act on the leaves, before rinsing off the plant with water. It is best to spray early in the day, rinsing the plant off before strong sun.


PAF is concentrated and must be diluted to between a 300:1 to 500:1 ratio before application by foliar or soaking spray.  A 300:1 ratio is recommended.

Persist™ Biochar Advantages

CAUTION: Not all biochars are the same. Biochar characteristics, including carbon and ash content, should be verified with a lab analysis.

  • Absorbs and holds water in soil 6x longer.
  • Produced from 100% California-grown pistachio shells – a waste product otherwise destined for the landfill.
  • Carbon content greater than 90%, which is significantly higher than most other brands of biochar.
  • Higher porosity and surface area ratio compared to other biochar on the market. (1 ounce = Area of 1.5 football fields)
  • Ultra-low ash and VOC content.
  • Consistent particle size distribution.
  • Available in a 3-quart bag, 1.5 cubic foot bag, and 2.0 cubic yard supersack.
  • Persist can be manufactured with alternate feedstocks, finer particle sizes, and other custom requirements.  Contact us for details.

Get to know Persist™ PAF (wood vinegar)

Improve harvest yields and long-term soil health with a synergistic mix of beneficial organic compounds and natural acids.

  • Nurtures healthy microbes in soil.
  • Jump starts nutrient uptake in plants.
  • Improves ability of plants to absorb water.
  • May reduce dependency on chemical fertilizers.
  • Lowers the alkalinity in soil.
  • Healthier leaves and stronger fruit skins.
  • Natural source of Karrikins, signaling compounds than stimulate seed germination and plant development after wildfires.

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