Growers in the Lodi area seem to be somewhat more optimistic about their crop compared to the average to above average reports form other parts of the state.

“We’ve got a fairly heavy crop right now,” says Larry Costamagna, owner of Costamagna Vineyards and Wines in Lodi. “Our bunch counts are running pretty high, especially on Zinfindel. A normal bunch count would probably range somewhere between 45-60, and we’re seeing bunch counts in the 70s. Of course, it’s still early, so it remains to be seen what will be there at harvest.”

Overall, the North Coast crop appears to a bit ahead of schedule with no major problems, according to Nick Frey, President of Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. “We are into bloom and the crop looks good,” Frey says. “There are no major pest problems and cluster counts are good. We would anticipate an average crop at this point, but there is still a long way to go until harvest. The warm, dry spring has the crop ahead of 2006, so we expect a normal to early harvest.”

Good spring weather, for the most part, aided pollination and is now contributing to the high bunch counts, according to Costamagna. “It was near perfect,” he says. “Additionally, we haven’t had any problems with disease or pests for the most part. We’ve had a few spider mites showing up here and there, but nothing we can’t handle pretty easily.”