A weekend cold snap gave way to wet weather once again in wine country. KRCB looked into what the winter weather means for winemakers.
"The season almost certainly is going to be later," Jeff Hinchliffe said.
Hinchliffe is the head winemaker at Hanna Winery of Sebastopol and the Alexander Valley. He said with a few exceptions, the cold weather has pushed back his crop schedule.
"Bud break is about a month I’d say now behind last year, the last couple of years."
Hinchliffe said that later bud break could make a big impact.
"It’s going to be in warmer weather which tends to reduce the bloom time and make for a larger crop," Hinchliffe said. "There’s going to be so much water in the ground, clusters are going to be big."
There are still serious perils to the grapes.
"Potential for rot in varieties like chardonnay could be really high with the tight clusters and the big crop, so crop reduction is definitely on the list this year," Hinchliffe said.
That work in the vineyard is what much of the region’s local economy and thousands of seasonal workers rely upon. Many are still reeling from lost work during this series of winter storms.