Frost protection measures
© Kent Porter/The Press Democrat
Frost protection measures are put in to place on young vines, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022 at Balletto Vineyards near Sebastopol, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. Several mornings of below freezing temperatures have forced some growers to protect swelling buds, kicked off by prior weeks of warm, dry weather.
Pockets of vineyards across the North Coast have suffered from frost damage over the past week, which is likely to contribute to an expected lower yield when the wine grape harvest kicks off later this summer, according to analysts.

Inman Family Wines reported Tuesday that it went through two frost nights in a row, as well as a hailstorm last week just as buds on its estate vineyard were starting to bloom, according to an Instagram post. Some vines will experience shatter, the term used for when the grapevine's fragile flowers do not pollinate and develop into grapes. "Add this to the frost damage and it looks like lower yields for 2022," the post read.

Areas with reports of potential frost damage include Pope and Childs valleys in eastern Napa County and the Carneros region straddling southern Napa and Sonoma counties, analysts said. Parts of Lake and Mendocino counties also were affected, as well as corners of Sonoma County vineyards where frost-protection sprinklers were not available. This follows an earlier round of frost in late February.

Some were unable to start their frost-protection wind machines or sprinklers fast enough as temperatures plummeted. Others have weighed whether to devote water for frost protection now or conserve it for later in the year for irrigation during the summer.

"In Mendocino County, people are having to make some pretty tough choices on saving their water through the growing season or using it to protect the vines right now," said Christian Clear, who oversees the North Coast grape market for Novato-based Turrentine Brokerage.