Sonora, CA — Last weekend´s freeze and the continued cold early morning weather has played havoc with the Mother Lode Grape crop.
Jim Costello of Mt. Brow Winery reports that he has lost approximately 50 percent of his crop. The losses all occured on the lower elevations where the frost tends to settle.
Costello says sangiovise, zinfandel and merlot were the grapes affected by the sub-freezing temperatures. He adds that it´s not financially prudent for small vineyards to invest in large wind mills or smudge pots to fight the freezing temperatures.
Costello adds that some buds will produce secondary fruit but historically they will not match the quality of the initial buds.
Financially Costello says it´s too early to estimate the damage. This year´s crop would not reach the marketplace for another three to four years and he admits the 2008 crop will certainly be limited because of Mother Nature´s springtime freeze.
Written by Bill Johnson