By Steve Large

LODI (CBS13) — This winter’s unending storms have uncorked a problem for some Lodi grape growers.

Some of their vineyards are still submerged in flood water.

Brett Koth’s family owns Mokelumne Glen Vineyards

“Half of the plantable acres here are underwater here,” Koth said. “They don’t take well to being submerged for months and months like this.”

For some Lodi winemakers, the 2017 vintage will never escape this soggy image.

“Most everybody’s in the same boat,” Koth said.

Koth took a photo of his sister canoeing through their vineyard in January. Now March, their vines are still knee-deep in water.

“We could pump it out but first, where would we put it?” Koth said. “And second, it would just come right back.”

Koth’s Mokelumne Glen Vineyard lies along the now flooded Mokelumne River along with many other grape growers who are seeing their livelihoods sunk by this year’s historic storms.

Seven of the Koth family’s 15 acres are underwater, making pruning impossible.
The youngest vines will likely die.

“I’ve probably lost my investment right here, on these,” Koth said.

It is a grape crop that is struggling to survive and a vineyard owner’s 2017 vintage a full body of frustration.


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