NAPA (KPIX) — Most farmers are worried about their crops as they head into the second straight dry year. Vineyard owners say they may be the lucky ones because, at this point, grapes don’t need a lot water — just warm sunshine.
That would change with a prolonged drought.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You Get Another Relief Payment?
“Of all the crops that are grown, grapevines are remarkably resistant,” said Kendall Hoxsey-Onysko, owner of the Napa Wine Company.
Hoxsey-Onysko is a fifth-generation Napa Valley grape grower and her family knows all about droughts and their impact on the wine industry. Grapevines can thrive without a lot of water but productivity depends on how long the drought lasts.READ MORE: Bay Area, NorCal Heatwave May Break Records; 'Potentially Life-Threating' Central Valley Temps
“We’re always going to be concerned and we track water. Obviously lots of vineyards have water probes and they’re testing the soil and what levels and percentage the soils have the moisture,” Hoxsey-Onysko explained.
Low rainfall typically leads to lower crop yields, which could mean less wine for consumers. Still, in a region that focuses on wine quality versus quantity, the drought hasn’t seriously impacted the wine business quite yet.
At the Napa Wine Company which produces their popular Ghost Block label, the vineyard has a well on-site to irrigate its crops. Hoxsey-Onysko also says their tests show there’s adequate water in the soil to get these vines at least through the season. The question is: when will the rain return to replenish that supply?MORE NEWS: 2-Day Search For Mendocino Man Wanted In Shootout With Deputies, Multiple Burglaries Ends Without Arrest
“Farming is always a risk but, at the same time, you would always want your farmers to be pushing and continuing to learn with science and always trying to make sure they’re growing the best grapes possible,” Hoxsey-Onysko said.