He went on to say that the entire producing region was damaged by excessive rain. “That same Sunday, it rained from 10 a.m. to midnight, and a critical wine-growing region like Maricopa had a lot of rain.” In total, 51 to 76 millimeters (mm) of rain fell in the middle of the harvest. “I can’t harvest 324 hectares because they were destroyed. There is nothing left,” complained Dulcich. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. “We’re in the middle of the early and middle classes of the season,” the producer continued.
Sugar Drop, Sugraone and Flame are early varieties and harvest is over. However, the storm came before the harvest of varieties such as Krissy, Green Emerald and Scarlet Royal. “As a result, they collapsed,” he said. “Varieties close to harvest have many cracked grapes. In the case of late varieties, many grapes rot and yields are reduced.” Meanwhile, the price went up to $10 a box.
Big loss of a production key for the region.
Once every 40 years
A summer storm like this is very rare in California. “This amount of rain is something that happens maybe once every 40 years. One time before I can remember we had so much rain in the summer. It was 1977 and my father had to use a broom to get the water out of the front yard. Since then, we haven’t had much summer rain.”. Even before the storm arrived, Dulcich said this year’s weather was different than usual. “Every morning I go outside to check the air and this weather is very humid.” As a result of heavy rains in California last winter, lakes and reservoirs filled up, creating moisture. “Humidity is not good for grapes because it causes mold and mildew,” he said.
Has anything been done to avoid the effect of rain? “In a normal season, we would start covering all the plastic lines in September,” Dulcich said. At that time of the year more rain is expected. “If so, we open the plastic and cover the grapes. However, in the middle of summer, when it is humid and above 40 degrees, no one thinks to put the plastic.” On Tuesday, August 15, the typhoon was predicted for the first time. “No one knew what it was and everyone was busy collecting. We thought it was too early to put the plastic down and before we knew it, we had 12-14 hours of non-stop rain.”
At the time of writing, the price of one box is $32.95. “From there, it’s only going to go up. In my opinion, the price of reds will be $40 a box in three weeks and will continue to go up until it tops out in about a month.”. Dulcich predicted a price of $40 a box of white grapes for the end of October. Despite limited quantities and high prices, Pretty Lady Vineyards continues to honor some ads. “We’re trying to show retailers that we’re their partners.”