Is Wine Crop Affected by Cooler Weather?

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NAPA, Calif. (KCBS) _ Cooler than normal summer temperatures this year have farmers up and down the state concerned about the potential effect on crops.

But the jury is still out on how the weather might affect wine made from this year’s Napa Valley grape crop.

Summertime temperatures in the Napa Valley usually run between 90 and 95 degrees, which John Conover, board member of the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association said is ideal for grape growing.

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“This year, we’ve been about five to seven degrees lower than that, which has caused the maturation cycle to be a week or two behind,” he said. “That is unusual. However, if you look at the 1999 vintage or the 2005 vintage, which were both critically acclaimed vintages, 2010 is shaping up in a very similar way.”

Conover works at the Cade and Plumpjack wineries and said he’s not sure if the cooler weather will affect this year’s wines or wine prices.

“One thing we do know is that it’s going to be a smaller crop than 2009 and more similar to the 2008 harvest,” Conover said. “But usually a small crop relates to high quality.”

Conover said Plumpjack and Cade normally harvest their cabernet grapes in late October.

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