Frost hits California’s North Shore vineyards during flowering

(ORDO NEWS) — Vineyards on the North Coast have been hit by a frost over the past week, which analysts say could lead to lower harvests when the wine grape harvest begins later this summer.

Inman Family Wines said on Tuesday that it had endured two consecutive nights of frost last week, as well as hail, just as the buds in its vineyard were starting to open, according to an Instagram post.

Some vines have suffered from shedding, which is the name given to the situation when the fragile flowers of the vine do not pollinate and do not develop into grapes. “Add that to frost damage and it looks like yields will drop in 2022,” the report said.

Areas where reports of potential frost damage have been received include the Pope and Childs Valleys in eastern Napa County and the Carneros region in southern Napa and Sonoma counties, analysts said.

Parts of Lake and Mendocino counties were also affected, as were corners of Sonoma County’s vineyards that were unable to use sprinklers to protect against frost. This came after an earlier frost in late February.

Some have not been able to get their frost protection windmills or sprinklers up and running quickly enough as the temperature has plummeted.

Others weighed whether to dedicate water for frost protection now or save it for summer irrigation at the end of the year.

“In Mendocino County, people have a pretty tough choice to make: save water during the growing season or use it to protect vines right now,” said Christian Klier, who oversees the North Coast grape market at Novato-based Turrentine Brokerage.

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