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Vineyards Hope Freezing Temperatures Have Left For Season

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Murphys, Ca — With overnight temperatures below freezing this past weekend, and then again Wednesday evening, it has been a tough stretch for Mother Lode vineyards and grape growers.

Stephen Kautz with Ironstone Vineyards, who is also the President of the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance, says growers in the area have reported anywhere from 40 percent to 100 percent frost damage. He says it will be a couple of days, however, before most vineyards know the exact extent.

Kautz says there is a good chance that vintage 2008 wine produced in the Mother Lode could be more of a rare commodity than years past.

“A lot of the wineries have additional grapes and additional wines, so they will probably be able to make it through,” adds Kautz. “But with some of the unique and specialty varieties, it could make it a short vintage, if a vintage at all.”

Winemakers from counties all across the foothills have reported similar problems due to freezing, including growers in Tuolumne, El Dorado and Amador Counties.

Written by BJ Hansen