Monday, March 24, 2014

The Drought And Your Wine Cellar.

Time to address the historical drought in California and how it will effect the wine industry and the
2014 vintage.  

While the 2013 vintage will be a great year for wine, 2104 will be a different story.  

Vineyards don't need a lot of water to survive, although the lack of rain and continued sunny weather could eventually affect the crop. Winemakers said they would prune heavily and thin to keep the crop at a minimum, focusing on ripening whatever crop they have at the expense of volume. All they can do for now is manage what little water they have and pray for rain.   While dry farming is great for some varietals such as Pinot Noir, other varietals need a bit more water. 

Per the California Plant and Soil Conference attendees, "salinity and scarcity of water make the soil toxic and current crops can not survive." 

Some vineyards are so concerned they have fallen back on old not so scientific method of finding water. Dowsing or Water Witches who use "diving rods" to find water. Rods are made of copper or wood and can detect water deep in the ground.  Folklore has it that this happens by natural energy. This could be a reach and/or desperation.  

While grapes are usually the topic here. I need to mention that this drought will effect all produce.  Prices will rise not only on wine but produce on a whole will be more expensive.  There’s going to be several million tons of production that will be lost,” said Winters farmer Bruce Rominger, chairman of the California Tomato Growers Association. “It will be devastating to the industry.”  This means less tomato products on the grocery store shelf.

Lack of rain and with warmer weather Bud Break is earlier this year. This is just as alarming as lack of water for irrigation. The chance of frost is still a possibility.


Look for my next article on tech and water.

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