2010 Bloom

Climate Overview

Information from Precision Forecasting indicates that temperatures will remain average or slightly below average for the rest of California’s 2010 growing season. The season is not projected to catch up and harvest dates can be expected to correlate with current degree day models. However, the weather is expected to stay dry with a below average chance of subtropical moisture drifting up from the South.

Grape Growing Degree-Days for California Data
March 15th to July 5th
(Monterey County and Paicines data from March 1st to July 1st)
This Year Last Year Normal* This Year vs. Norm**
Mendocino County
Ukiah NCDC (9122) 1026 1375 1341 -17
Hopland CIMIS (85) 1002 1297 1190 -11
Lake County
Kelseyville 965 1253 1289 -19
Red Hills 1065 1435 1289 -10
North Valley
Manteca CIMIS (70) 1366 1635 1515 -6
Lodi CIMIS (166) 1382 1610 1639 –12
Napa/Sonoma
Oakville CIMIS (77) 1138 1317 1315 -10
Santa Rosa CIMIS (83) 823 897 1206 -25
Carneros CIMIS (109) 1017 1089 1331 -21
Central Coast
Atascadero CIMIS (163) 977 1257 1411 -20
Monterey County
Mesa del Rio Vineyard 940 1396 1117 -14
San Lucas Vineyard 904 1232 1127 -13
Paicines
South Hart Vineyard 819 1147 1024 -17

* Normal degree-days is calculated by taking the average from at least 5 years of historical data in the area.
** This Year vs. Normal degree-days compares the current degree-days with the historical norm. “+” indicates degree-days above normal. “-” indicates degree-days below normal.

Napa / Sonoma Counties

Andrew Nelson

Managing vine vigor has been trying this season. Mild temperatures have not dried out the soil and more vigorous varieties have large dense canopies. Multiple passes have been required for suckering and growers that hedged early experienced vigorous lateral shoots and a blooming second crop. Larger canopies combined with mild temperatures have created more pressure from mold and mildew. This year mildew has been especially problematic for organic growers. Large growing canopies limit spray coverage and organic options have been less effective this year.

Berry set was variable depending on bloom time. Most areas experienced a long bloom lasting between 2 to 4 weeks with Pope Valley being an exception with a fast bloom. Blocks with longer bloom experienced
more shatter and yields vary from vineyard to vineyard. Merlot and Cabernet appeared initially to have been effected by shatter but now that berries are sizing up the crop is looking average to slightly larger. Carneros Merlot is average to slightly below while Rutherford Cabernet is average to slightly above with large loose clusters. Carneros Chardonnay appears to have larger clusters than average but due to some shatter and set issues clusters are looser than normal making the crop average size. Pinot Noir is appearing to be small. Shoots with one or no clusters are common and cluster size is smaller than average. Sauvignon Blanc is looking average with some exceptions in Pope Valley that have extremely small clusters.

European Grapevine Moth eradication efforts have shown significantly decreased populations for the second flight which was at its peak the week of June 28th. Vineyards using a combination of sprays and mating disruption have trapped zero male moths during in the second flight. The third and final flight is predicted to begin on August 1st and growers are currently recommended to spray 10 to 15 days after the start of the flight. Because 3rd generation larva will enter a berry to feed, this is the last time that spray coverage will be effective, and organic growers are recommended to spray twice during this period. Quarantine zone restrictions currently require all loads moving within or out of a quarantine zone to be tarped or covered. However, the Napa Ag Commissioner is working to change this, meaning that tarping would not be required on loads that stay within the quarantine zone. Final requirements will be communicated in the next Vit Tracker.

Mendocino & Lake, Northern Sonoma & Northern Napa Counties

Terese Geniella

Concerns about shatter are disappearing as berries are sizing up and filling the clusters. Near perfect grape growing weather, 80 to 90 degrees, was the norm in June. Mid-July has had temperatures in the high 90s to low 100s. Early morning marine layer began the 1st week of July. Vines are shutting down. Most growers are putting on their first drip irrigation, late June or early July, as the ground had more than enough moisture previously, due to rainfall through mid-May. The growing season seems to be catching up to 10 days later than 2009. Early crop estimates are at average in all varietals.

Lodi, Solano, Yolo and Contra Costa Counties

Ron Pieretti

Although it is still unclear as to the true size of the 2010 harvest, in these areas it has been the consensus that the crop size for most whites likes Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are a little smaller than average with the exception of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier which may turn into above average. Reds are still a difficult read but again it appears we are shaping up to be an average sized crop on most red varietals with the exception of Merlot with some Lodi growers reporting above average estimates there. Zinfandel has the potential, I believe, to be big with some clones setting above normal shoulders and wings.

San Benito, Monterey

Matt Wilson

Although it is still unclear as to the true size of the 2010 harvest, in these areas it has been the consensus that the crop size for most whites likes Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are a little smaller than average with the exception of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier which may turn into above average. Reds are still a difficult read but again it appears we are shaping up to be an average sized crop on most red varietals with the exception of Merlot with some Lodi growers reporting above average estimates there. Zinfandel has the potential, I believe, to be big with some clones setting above normal shoulders and wings.

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One Response to 2010 Bloom

  1. Ryan Moreland says:

    Very well written review of what was happening in Napa and Sonoma, lots of info but it’s all useful. Can’t wait to read some of these for 2011!

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