LIVERMORE, Calif. (KRON) — It is that special time of the year at local wineries where the grapes are ripe and ready to come off the vines, but with the excessive heat hitting the Bay Area wine makers will need to make changes.
This year at Wood Family Vineyards the picking kicks off at 2 a.m. in an effort to beat the heat.
“We’ve had warm Labor Day weekends before so I think the farmers know how to work with it, the wineries know how to work with it. It’s usually a short-lived thing we hope,” said Rhonda Wood, winemaker and owner of Wood Family Vineyards.
From Saturday through Tuesday, the National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for parts of the Bay Area. In Livermore Thursday, temperatures reached over 100 degrees.
Over at Cuda Ridge Wines, winemaker and owner Larry Dino is stopping his harvest amid the high heat but was able to get some of his grapes in ahead of time.
“Luckily we got our whites in and they came in earlier this week. We’ve put all other stuff on hold until next week. So, I would expect to get our grapes for our rose’ towards the end of next week,” said Dino.
Like Wood, Dino will make sure the vineyard is well watered before the grapes shrivel up but that could be challenging with temperatures expecting to hit triple digits over the holiday weekend. Dino cancelled an outdoor concert.
“It was a hard decision because our event was pretty much sold out but we had to go ahead and make sure customers were safe and I assumed we were going to have cancellations and such,” said Dino.
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Both wineries will hold tastings indoors.
“We have a larger tasting room inside. Our music is planned to be inside this weekend. So, we have music Sunday, we have music Monday as well and hopefully electricity holds up, we have air conditioning here,” said Wood.
In Livermore, other events have been cancelled and postponed until this heat passes. Check in with your destination ahead of Labor Day weekend.