I knew there were some hot days, but didn't realize how many other issues they had. Brehm also indicated, in his comments below, they had a challenging year with mildew and heat issues.
Another growing season shows contrasts between the California coast and the Pacific Northwest climates.
Both regions received an ample amount of rainfall over the winter. At White Salmon Vineyard we are 7 inches over normal rainfall since October 2016. Spring was forgiving on all fronts, no frost damage. The thirsty ground did erupt with a lot of weeds, and an excessive amount of vegetation on the vines. During the growing season the Coastal vines in CA experienced cool, moist air from the Pacific. The vines in their leafy fullness became the desirable home for mildew. The vineyards required additional labor in thinning the vines, cutting the grass, and the California coast found itself challenged with mildew. The Northwest experienced the excess of vegetative growth, but was sparred the summer moisture.
Temperatures in the NW were a bit over normal thru July until Saturday, July 22nd. The weather forecast predicted temperatures of 108° to 111°f for the coming week. I went into a panic trying to prevent crispy grapes. Trellis wires were lowered to offer more shade (opposite what we had worked hard to do). Surround, an organic clay, was sprayed on the Pinot Noir to protect it from the sun. This long-standing practice has no negative impact on the grapes. The heat did come with a vengeance, but was mitigated by a high haze of smoke drafting down from British Columbia. The smoke haze and our hard work kept the berries in excellent condition, even with weeks of very high temperatures.
Sounds like what I had last year. But reversed. And worse.
Beautiful, near perfect Spring, my grapes had never looked so good. Then starting in late July, endless rain and one huge hail storm destroyed everything. Completes loss for me, with significant damage and loss across the entire region. Some farmers were even compensated for their loss by the government.
I've been managing our community vineyard for the last 5 years. We do 55 tons of grapes per year. This is, by far our worst year, for the reasons noted in the article. I think our numbers will come in 1/2 of last year, but we got really hit hard by mildew on our cab franc.