Drought and Warm Winter Leads to Some Sweeter Fruit

Local News
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First the drought and now the warm winter. Farmers in our area are used to adapting to changing climates.

The current warm weather could affect the flavor of wine, fruits and veggies, according to local farmers and winemakers.

Kevin Stevenson, Owner of Casque Wines in Loomis, says after six years in business, he’s learned to adapt to the drought and changing weather patterns.

He says heat affects the flavor of wine, but it may be too early to tell how 2015 will fare.

“if its another really hot summer we’ll probably have more of the same, some big, full bodied, high alcohol wines,” Stevenson said.

Elsewhere in Placer county, growers cultivating some different crops say they’re seeing and tasting the benefits of sunshine.

Growers say as a potential silver lining to the ongoing drought conditions and the fluctuating temperatures, some fruits and veggies available earlier and they’re also more flavorful and even sweeter.

Citrus farmer, Robert Bonk says this was one of his earliest and sweetest harvests ever, which has helped sales.
Bonk says there’s more variety out there, too.

“Nectarines are blooming early, almonds are in bloom, greens are coming on like crazy so we’re gonna have quite the diversity coming up this spring, and we’ve got quite the diversity right now for this time of year,” said Bonk.

But in a business where your product depends on mother nature, there’s always the risk things could take a turn for the worst.

“The thing for farmers is its always a risk its always a gamble.. you never know what you’re going to get at the end,” said Bonk.

For growers and winemakers, only time will tell.

To find out what produce is in season now, you can head to PlacerGrown.org.

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