Mac's  Groundhog Day Report
February 02 2016 

This day, with its associated thoughts of Spring, is as good a time as any to start the distribution of information leading to Harvest 2016, which starts in September.  I will be in Australia and South Africa until late April, 2016, but I will be posting info from these areas, and on the activity at PrestonWine, to our site from time to time during the next three months.

Ed Hughes in Niagara indicates that his vines have done well to this point and, barring any extreme cold, should result in a full crop.  If this is the case, we will be offering an expanded roster of his grapes this year both red and white.  Ed has pulled out his Cabernet Sauvignon but added Chardonnay which will increase availability in a few years.

After four years of drought, California is receiving more rain and snow this year courtesy of El Nino.  As long as this continues, things should improve but more moisture is needed in the next two months to make a significant impact on reservoirs and general water availability.

Grape vines continue to be pulled out in California's Central Valley.  It is estimated that almost 30,000 acres could be pulled between the end of Harvest 2015 and the beginning of Harvest 2016.  Although we do get some of our grapes from these areas, these pullouts shouldn’t affect supply because wine inventories are still high and oversupply remains an issue.

The Lodi/Delta area continues to increase its wine grape acreage.

In the premium coastal areas of California, Pinot Noir is the choice of new plantings followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite SirahPinot Grigio was the main white planted in 2015 with Chardonnay showing a decline.

This is an Eastern Grey Kangaroo (definitely NOT a groundhog!) visiting the front lawn of the home I am staying at in the Goulburn Valley Wine District  in Central Victoria, Australia.  “Greys” can grow to six feet or taller and are found by the thousands in this region.

Kangaroos don’t usually eat grapes but they are good at trimming the grass between the rows of vines. Kangaroos will eat leaves and grapes during periods of drought when no other moisture source is available.   

No Groundhog activity to report from this location!!


In vino veritas,
Mac MacDonald

(updated 2016-02-02)

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