BIZ-FARM-CLIMATE-CALIF-WINECOUNTRY-LA

Clouds from a passing storm mix with the sunset over Titus Vineyards on Feb. 3, 2021 in the storied Napa Valley region in California. Harsh weather conditions are taking their toll on the region’s production of wine this year.

California’s wine country, including the famed Napa and Sonoma valleys, faces a climate crisis so dire that it’s posing an existential threat to the future of the state’s industry.

Grapes have been hit with one extreme after another. This year’s season started out with a deep frost that iced over verdant green buds, nipping them right off the vine. For the crops that survived, the freeze quickly gave way to drought and heat. In recent weeks, record-breaking temperatures baked parched vineyards. Then there’s the ever-present threat of wildfires and smoke damage.

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