American grapegrowers have yet to pick a single grape, but it’s already clear there will be less Pinot Noir this year. Record-low temperatures struck Oregon’s Willamette Valley—down to 26° F in some areas—in early April, just as the vineyards were starting budbreak. Frost isn’t uncommon in Oregon, but it typically strikes earlier in the season when vines are still dormant. And to the south, California’s Central Valley and eastern foothills experienced their worst frost in recent years, and vineyards suffered widespread damage. Read on for the details on what the increased threat of frost means for winegrowers in the western United States and beyond.
From the Jul 31, 2022, issue