What is in this article?:
- Grower expects wide range of Brix readings come harvest time.
- Suckers are coming out everywhere on damaged vines.
- Secondary buds may not be there.
- Growers urged to wait until flowering, fruit set before making 2011 crop decisions.
Wake-up for wineries
“I think a few privately held wineries are awakening to the fact that this will not be a uniform year. I don’t think some of the big corporate wineries have caught on to that fact yet, but they will eventually,” he said.
Sixty percent of Central Coast wine grapes are shipped to major wineries away from the coast.
“If this frost had hit Napa and Sonoma, there would have been a panic now. With the Central Coast being a source of ‘extra grapes’ so to speak, it has not hit the market yet,” he said.
Battany reminded growers that the biology of the grapevine is to begin forming the current season’s flower clusters during the spring of the preceding season. Therefore, extra fertilizer or irrigation this spring will not create more flower clusters for this year.
However, it is important to continue taking proper care of the vineyard, including disease control and adequate nutrition, as this will help ensure that one can maximize the full potential crop this year and will help ensure that next year’s crop will not suffer inadvertently,” Battany reports.
One positive consequence of the reduced crop load this season is that the same vines will generally compensate by producing a larger-than-average crop next season, all else being equal, he said.
As the danger of frost continues into late May for most of the area, Battany said it is very important to maintain frost protection efforts because if the newly emerged secondary and basal shoots themselves become damaged from another frost event, then the next batch of replacement shoots will generally have even less potential for producing any crop.