Bay area winemakers thankful for cooler weather

By Kim Leoffler, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 02, 2018, 9:14 PM EST

While many Bay Area residents aren’t too happy with this week’s cold weather, for winemakers it’s a welcome sight.

  • Bay area winemakers welcome cold weather
  • Vineyard owner said cold is good recalibration tool
  • McKnight said vineyard lost 75% of grapes due to Irma

Strong Tower Vineyard owner Terry McKnight said he looks forward to these cold snaps each year.

"Cold is good it's a recalibration tool for the vine chemistries. If it doesn't recalibrate then the yield that following year is going to be suppressed. It's going to be less than what we hope for,” McKnight explained.

Mcknight said the last few winters have been warmer, so any little bit of cold air helps. He said his grapes need at least 150 so called chill hours to produce a good yield, although he said 300 would be ideal.

"I have a friend down in the Naples area they do have to spray every year artificially to induce chill hours. I just hate throwing something foreign out there if we don't have to," McKnight said.

McKnight also said after this year, it's even more important their vines produce a good yield. He said they lost about 75 percent of their grapes they use to make white wine during hurricane Irma. He hopes with the colder weather they will be able to make up for they lost.

"The colder temperatures right now will help to recalibrate those vines which will hopefully recapture the volume that we lost over the next two to three years," he explained.

And with temperatures already getting close to freezing in some northern areas, McKnight said they are off to a good start.