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California frost devastates grape crop

California's Central Coast may have lost up to 50% of its grape crop after one of the worst spring frosts in history.

Image courtesy Ron Bez Photography, www.ronbez.com

With freezing temperatures between 8 and 10 April, initial estimates indicate a 30-50% crop loss, according to the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

‘The length of time temperatures were at or below freezing on April 8, 9 and 10 was the greatest the region has experienced in the last 10 years,’ Stacie Jacob, the Alliance’s executive director told Decanter.com.

‘Although growers have a wide array of best management practices, which were fully executed, Mother Nature was in full control,’ she added.

‘God was upset with us this spring,’ Tobin James, owner of Tobin James Cellars in Paso Robles said.

Many earlier varieties like Pinot Noir and white grapes were affected, he told Decanter.com. According to the Western Farm Press, some vineyards may not have a single crop to harvest this fall due to the frost.

The is working with the industry to assess the full damage, said Jacob. ‘There may be federal support for growers if the situation is officially classed a disaster. We won’t know this until May or June, once reporting is complete and the full impact is understood.’

Written by Panos Kakaviatos

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