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Napa Valley wine grower survives catastrophic California drought

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 01:05

Despite a severe drought in California, Mumm Napa's winemaker says this season's crop may be better than average thanks to well-timed spring rains. Mana Rabiee reports.

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The grape harvest in Napa Valley just started. Earlier than usual. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUDOVIC DERVIN, MUMM NAPA WINEMAKER, SAYING: "An average year would be mid-August for the first grapes." Despite a catastrophic drought in California, Mumm Napa's winemaker says this season's crop will be average -- even better than average. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUDOVIC DERVIN, MUMM NAPA WINEMAKER, SAYING: "This year we dodged a bullet." That's because the spring rains were well-timed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUDOVIC DERVIN, MUMM NAPA WINEMAKER, SAYING: "Grapevines can actually do very well even in very low water. You just have to give them the right amount of water at the right time." Mumm workers picked 15 tons of grapes on the first morning of their harvest. But if things don't change, the drought -- now in its third year -- will eventually have its effect. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUDOVIC DERVIN, MUMM NAPA WINEMAKER, SAYING: "You cannot go forever if you do not get water...We need a big rainy winter this year… for a few years in a row actually because in the long term we are still in a drought." State regulators are looking to place more water pumping restrictions on farmland. That worries winery operators, who know that these vines will have to produce another good crop next year.

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Napa Valley wine grower survives catastrophic California drought

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 01:05