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Napa Valley Grape Growers Prepare For Drought

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(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

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NAPA, Calif. (AP) — With California in the grips of severe drought, Napa Valley wine grape growers say some vines are ripening early and that farmers are planning fewer crops to save water.

Domenick Bianco of Renteria Vineyard Management said Tuesday that vineyard owners are pruning earlier than usual and on a shorter schedule.

If the Valley does not see late winter or spring rains, Bianco says 2014 will yield a smaller crop.

Still, unlike other areas, some Napa growers say access to water in underground aquifers will help them irrigate crops even if rains are light through this year.

Jennifer Putnam, executive director of Napa Valley Grapegrowers, says it is still too early to tell if the drought will affect the retail price of Napa wines.

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