The founder of kukkula Winery Kevin Jussila said conditions this year have been fairly moderate, with little to no impact from wildfire smoke and less extreme temperatures
Harvest season for wine grapes in Paso Robles is underway, and locals in the industry say it’s going well despite the persisting impacts of drought.
Wine experts say years of continuing drought and wildfire exacerbated by climate change has impacted grape yield and harvest.
Last year, longer heat waves paired with smoke affected the fruit quality in Paso Robles. Molly Lonborg is the Winemaker at Alta Colina in Paso Robles. She said this year, things are off to a good start.
Harvest is going full swing right now. It’s going great. We’re having a lot of fun, Lonborg said. I think we’re going a little stronger and faster than we did last year. Lonborg said their yield is pretty good right now and their projections suggest they’ll bring in more fruit than they expected. But, she said, a lot of vineyards in Paso Robles are harvesting fewer grapes.
I think that does kind of tie back into just the drought and water issues, Lonborg said. We had such a minimal amount of water over the winter through rainfall. I think if people were doing some winter watering, they were able to keep some crop load. But waiting and hoping that rain was going to come, kind of affected some vineyards.
Kevin Jussila is the founder of kukkula Winery in Paso Robles. He said conditions this year have been fairly moderate, with little to no impact from wildfire smoke and less extreme temperatures.
We’ve been pretty paranoid, I think, as a group, given how extreme the heat was last year, Jussila said. What looked like what was going to be a really easy vintage turned out to be tough. So far, although we’ve had some heat, it’s not been a really pervasive heat, a week or two weeks of 100 plus type of temperatures.
Jussila said barring any big heat waves in the next several weeks, harvesting should continue to go smoothly.