Wine grapes suffered major frost damage in some areas of the state, but damage varied from one area to another and one vineyard to the next.
“There was serious damage on the outskirts of the Lodi district, up on the Borden Ranch and Clements Hills areas,” says Mark Chandler, executive director of the Woodbridge Winegrape Commission at Lodi. “In those areas, damage was as high as 60 percent to 80 and 100 percent. Also, to the west in the Delta, there were instances of near wipeouts.
“I estimate 15 percent crop loss for the region. White varieties were harder hit than reds, since they were farther along in their development. The core Lodi area was lightly hit, with just a few leaves affected here and there, but no serious damage.”
The coastal areas also had sporadic damage.
“It’s bad in some vineyards, but there were vineyards that had no damage at all,” says Dana Merrill, president of Mesa Vineyard Management at Templeton, Calif. “It seems that Shandon, Creston, and the lower canyon areas north of the Estrella River and Hog Canyon had pockets of severe damage; Parkfield was also hard hit, as were portions of San Ardo. In Santa Ynez and along Hwy 154 there was heavy damage. But from what I can tell, the El Pomar and west side of Paso Robles came out with little damage.”
In the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley, the situatioin wasn’t quite as serious.
“We had very isolated frost damage in some areas from the cold temperatures April 19-21,” says Jennifer Hashim-Buckey, Kern County UCCE farm advisor at Bakersfield. “It impacted table, raisin and wine grape vineyards in some low-lying areas west of Shafter and Wasco, and then east of 99 in the Kimberlina-Famoso area. I’d guess that a few hundred acres were affected in Kern County, or about 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent of the total acreage.”