Fluctuating Bay Area weather pattern creating concern for East Bay winery

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Fluctuating weather pattern creating concern for East Bay winery
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Some Bay Area businesses are concerned as the fluctuation of the warm and cold temperatures can ruin their crops.

EAST BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area is set to embrace a series of cold temperatures not felt in several weeks. After a long spell of warm spring-like temperatures, some places will see degrees drop into the 30s. It has some saying this is a sign spring is not completely here yet.

"It is not uncommon for this to happen," said Kris Bryan-Kjaer, the owner of Yarrow Plant Nursery in the Oakland Hills. "Some tender plants that don't like the cold weather will certainly not do well this week."

Bryan-Kjaer says she has told customers not to buy spring like plants to later in March, because cold snaps like this week can still happen.

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"We had this warm spell and I think people have been buying these things that are frost tender," she said. "Then we get this frost warning right after and it causes this dramatic shift. If you already bought plants like tomatoes and peppers, you need to bring those inside."

The cold weather, however, is a welcomed sight for some Bay Area wineries. Wente Vineyards in Fremont is hoping the frost helps with the long-term growth of their vines.

"We want the vines to go all the way to bed and what puts them to bed? The frost," said Niki Wente, the Vineyard's viticulture manager.

She says they have seen vines bud up to less than 1%. That is unusual this time of year and it is due to the warm start to the year. She says that 1% will die this week, but it is nothing they are concerned about.

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"It is unfortunate, but because the state we are in right now, we are less than 1% of bud break. We are probably just going to take it as a loss," she said.

What Wente does not want to see is a fluctuation of temperatures. Any warm temperatures could lead to more bud break, and any cold temperatures could mean that bud break dies.

"I see it is going to get up to 70 again and then go back to cold again," Wente said. "Those type of fluctuations aren't great because we will see more bud break, so we will just keep an eye on it."