- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Unusually warm late summer temperatures in Sonoma County have grapes ready for harvest a bit early this year, causing some angst for wineries used to a longer break between the harvest of white and red varieties, according to a story in today's Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
But UC Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor Rhonda Smith assured the paper that the 2008 vintage isn't suffering. Smith attributes the warmer harvest season to a lack of fog.
Cooling fog helps keep the acid and sugar levels in the ripening fruit in balance, allowing flavors to develop, she explained to reporter Kevin McCallum. Nevertheless, Smith said the heat hasn't damaged what looks like a beautiful, if small, crop, according to the article.
“The grapes look great,” she is quoted. “For all the heat we’ve had, the vines themselves do not look tired.”
Speaking of Rhonda Smith, the long-time UC advisor was honored by the 2008 Sonoma County Harvest Fair as a “Friend of Sonoma County Agriculture," according to an article in the Sonoma West Times and News.
“This was totally unexpected. I was honored. It came out of the blue. I was extremely shocked and pleasantly surprised,” Smith is quoted in the article.