Mudslides, threat of ‘wet vintage’ won’t dampen Bay Area winemakers’ delight in record rainfall

Feb 21, 2023 at 8:00am

Aldo Toledo, The Mercury News

As Prudy Foxx walked through rows of ripening fruit at several vineyards nestled among the Santa Cruz Mountains last September, she cringed at the spindly shoots rising from the stocky grapevine trunks.

“I was looking at the canes going into winter, and many of them were a little thin for my taste,” Foxx said. “They were the diameter of a No. 2 pencil and lacking in their protein component. I thought ‘that’s a real issue.’ ”

A similar scene played out last fall at many vineyards around the Bay Area: years of drought taking a destructive toll on the vines, threatening a billion-dollar industry and putting more stress on California’s scant stored water resources.

Then, like a “godsend,” the rains came.

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