Wine Spectator: California Vintners Take Stock After Weeks Of Winter StormsFebruary 1, 2023
Christian Moueix is the kind of man who has annual rainfall statistics memorized. “In Bordeaux, the average is 38 inches, with much less variation than Napa,” he detailed. “The past 25 years in Napa range from 8 to 63 inches.” It’s important for vintners—and not just Moueix, whose 134-acre Napa Valley property Napanook Vineyard is dry farmed—to keep track of rain because early precipitation can set the stage for an excellent vintage.
At the same time, too much rain can have negative consequences. “Vintages with heavy rain, above 50 inches, were 2011, 2017 and 2019,” Moueix said. “What does that mean? Vegetation is so strong that even if we reach full ripeness, there is still some herbal character.”
California’s three weeks of storms dumped a tremendous amount of rain on the state. While the weather led to at least 22 deaths and scores of washed-out roads, mudslides and flooded neighborhoods, many farmers couldn’t help but welcome the wet weather after years of being strapped for water resources. Many areas have already attained their average rainfall for the entire year. As a result, aquifers are recharged and reservoirs are full. The Golden State’s vintners are taking stock of what the deluge might mean for the upcoming growing season. Wine Spectator has the full story.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.
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