Wine Country Struggling During Drought
California is heading into another record dry year, and drought conditions are posing particular complications for wine country.
The state is responsible for 81% of all U.S. wine, and is the world's fourth leading wine producer, making more than 242 million cases each year.
Kaan Kurtural, a viticulture specialist at U.C. Davis, said drought conditions can lead to a poor vintage.
“Extreme water deficits, such as the one we're facing this year, are not going to be good for wine quality,” he said.
Even regions such as Napa and Sonoma, which usually do well in a drought, are struggling.
“We have a delayed spring growth in these regions, so grapevines were late, and they are struggling to catch up now because there's no moisture in the soil,” Kurtural said. “Grapes are sold by the ton, so the first thing that's going to be impacted is the yield. The farmers' pocketbooks are not going to be very happy.”
Marin, Mendocino and Sonoma counties have already placed water-use restrictions on residences.