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Warm Weather Could Force Early Grape Harvest

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LODI (CBS13) – The warmer weather and heat wave earlier this month could have a big affect on this year’s grape harvest.

Grape picking could start as early as next week because of the heat, but it’s a delicate balance.

“It could be a compacted harvest, which means the grapes will come early but when they start coming in, they’ll really start coming in,” said Oak Ridge Winery Winemaker Michael Borboa.

It means long hours with a shorter amount of days for picking.

“Some of our workers will get 20 to 30 hours of overtime a week,” said Borboa.

That’s based on a 60 hour work week. But farmers say they aren’t worried about losing money on the crop, because they’re being extra diligent.

“We’ll look at the chemistry of the brick, the acid content, the pH and make a decision on that and see how it progresses,” said Borboa.

It’s in their best interest to be overly attentive.

“Grapes are a commodity that gets paid by tonnage. So you don’t want too much dehydration. If that happens, the weight of the fruit goes down, thereby less income,” said Borboa.

Farmers have to know when to crop the field to get the best grape at the best profit.

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