Phil Maddux is the owner of Lone Buffalo Vineyards in
Auburn. He says last year's cool, wet start to summer delayed
wine grape harvests in the Sierra Nevada Foothills about three
"It gave us what they normally get closer to the coast every
year, which is a longer, extended growing season."
In other words, the fruit ripens more slowly and more
evenly. There's less fluctuation of sugar and acid in the
grapes caused by long hot days. And that leads to a better
But if harvest is delayed too long, problems can occur.
"The danger you always have when you delay harvest is that
it runs over into the fall and it starts raining during
Rain during harvest time can cause bunch rot, a fungal disease
that grows in tight grape clusters like zinfandel.
But as long as the weather heats up in July and August, Maddux
says the grapes should make fine wine.