Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2008 Harvest: Significant Frost Damage

I'm hearing reports from around the state from growers who have lost 50% to 75% of their crops to frost damage. It's being covered in the media; articles in Business Journal, Napa Valley Register, Sonoma's Press Democrat and on KTVU

These pictures were posted to Flickr by a grower in the Sierra Foothills; they show the primary shoots killed by the frost.

Locally I've heard very few reports of damage. The biggest casualty appears to be Rhys, who are estimating to have lost at least half of the Chardonnay in their Horseshoe Ranch vineyard. Another vineyard that's badly affected is Eagle Point Ranch in Mendocino, which provides the fruit for the Stefania Syrah I was talking about last week. But so far most of the local growers that I've contacted are reporting little to no ill effects.

In a posting on the Wine Spectator board Paul Romero explained the unusual microclimate that protects the AVA from frost.


rama said...

these vines will resprout, will they not? if so, then they're not losing the harvest, they'll just have to deal with inconsistent ripening dates.

Paul Romero said...

Rama, The risk is that the plants have lost a month of growth, with no way to make it up. In vineyards like Eaglepoint Ranch, it's a total loss. Harvest would normally be around Mid October. A month pushes the season past the point grapes will rippen. It in effect means the grapes will never get ripe this year.

rama said...

got it- thx for the clarification paul.