Record Rainfall's Influence on Sonoma County Wine Grape Harvest

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Update on Northern California's winter 2016 and spring 2017 record rainfall and its affect on the 2017 wine grape harvest.

Northern California’s record winter rainfall has led to many questions about how all of this water will affect the region’s grape harvest. Grape grower and winery owner John Bucher, who farms 55 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the famed Russian River Valley, has this update on how things are progressing in the vineyard.

“The record setting rainfall this winter and spring (86 inches since October here at the Bucher Vineyard) allowed the soils to saturate and replenish the aquifers. Not only the vines, but pasture, trees, and shrubs also seem recharged which we have not seen here in the Russian River Valley in close to 10 years.

The 2017 wine grape growing season got off to a great start the first week of March. Bud break in the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay started between the 7th and 10th with a nice growth spurt the first weekend of April as temperatures jumped into the high 80’s.

As the month of May started, the rains subsided and the flowering, or bloom stage of cluster development began. The Pinot Blocks are anywhere from 50-90% in bloom, with most vines carrying average or above average cluster counts. If the weather cooperates, we should see average to above average harvest yields for 2017. With the ground water recharged and the vines looking extremely healthy, everything so far is pointing to a great 2017 harvest.”

For more information about the 2017 Harvest please contact John Bucher at 707-484-2346.

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John Bucher
Bucher Wines
+1 707-484-5162
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