Good day all!
I wanted to provide you with an update on the 2022 vintage season.
It has been 52 years since a frost hit California wine country as hard as it did the night of April 12th. April 1970 was very similar in that massive frosts swept across the state in similar fashion decimating wine grapes from North in Mendocino to South in the Lodi area.
I wrote a note to our staff on April 13 that said in part “It has appeared that Cinnamon Hill has suffered losses of 90% with the Nebbiolo, 60% on the Dolcetto and 40% of the Sagrantino.” Well, as I have been known to say through the years, the grapevine is a plant of survival, and survive they did. Most of grapevines have three buds inside the main bud. The primary bud which is what we see emerge in Spring that has 2-3 flower clusters (which become grape bunches) but in case something happens such as frost, deer, or other causing the loss of this shoot, the secondary bud will produce one new cluster, and if that is destroyed the vine will activate its tertiary bud but which has no cluster, it’s main mission being to keep the vine alive.
As I initially estimated the loss to Nebbiolo at about 90% that still stands true today. There will be no 2022 Nebbiolo. The Dolcetto and Sagrantino did activate their secondary buds and have recovered nicely. The Dolcetto will be at least 75% of normal and the Sagrantino, a much younger batch of vines may have the largest crop since being planted 6 years ago.
So, what about quality? If we use 1970 as an example, it should be fantastic due to mother natures reduced yields. It also brings back to mind earlier times and costs of wine. When word began to leak out about the intensity and power of the 1970 vintage, I bought a case of 1970 BV Private Reserve as a beginning of my collection for $7.40 per bottle. Today a bottle will set you back a little more than $300!