LOMPOC, Calif. - Central Coast vineyards are ramping up for spring and vines are getting ready to start turning green again. The anticipated rain in the forecast means good things for vineyards.
Bryan Babcock is the owner of Babcock Winery & Vineyards. Early signs of bud break on Babcock's vines are an indication that spring is right around the corner. But he says the vines are still technically dormant, and because of that, the rain in the forecast is welcomed with open arms.
"The vines are asleep. They're dormant," says Babcock. "So if ever there is a good time for rain, it's now."
Babcock says vines need as much rain as they can get during the winter. And he says rainfall in the past year has been lacking.
"I'd like to see 10 to 12 inches a year. We've probably gotten 3 or 4," says Babcock. "So if it rains a couple inches tonight, that would be a great thing."
Babcock says the only bad thing about this rain could be possible erosion it could do to the soil. But he says as long as a good amount of vegetation exists between each row of vines, they should be ok.
"You wouldn't want your cover plants to just barely be growing because then if you got 2 to 3 inches of rain, that rain could erode the soil and take out your cover," says Babcock.
Not only that, Babcock says rain is better before the vines start growing out. Once the vineyards are green with vine growth, vineyard managers need to spray for mildew after rain. A ton of rain could limit access to certain parts of the field.
"If it rains so much that we can't get back in with our tractors because the ground is so soft, then it's hard to keep going with our spraying programs," says Babcock.
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:14 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:14:07 GMT
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