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January was a crazy month in the Sierra Foothills with Mother Nature giving us 9.83 inches of rain. Bear in mind that for the past ten years we’ve been in a drought with very little rain in January. In fact, we haven’t seen rain like this since the winter of 1997~ over 25 years ago!
Thankfully, we saw virtually no damage to the vineyard and winery. The only issue was some minor soil erosion, but this was kept to a minimum. Last November, we seeded cover crop, which by January was well rooted. This well rooted cover crop held our soils in place. Our practice of cover cropping and limited tilling created well aerated soils that helped soak up rainwater.
With the above normal rainfall, ground water has been somewhat replenished, and the soils are saturated. While we irrigate only when necessary and try to mainly dry farm, this added rainfall is a major boost to our sustainable farming practices.
We’re in great shape so far and cautiously optimistic that Mother Nature will be kind to us in 2023.