LOMPOC, Calif. – The much needed rain is welcomed by Dan Cassara and his wife Bridget in Lompoc. They own Casa Cassara, a vineyard that sits on top of the Santa Rita Hills. During the past year some of their trees have suffered due to the lack of rain.
“Last year most of the vineyards in the area were off by 40-60 percent in their production, we were closer to 60% off of our normal yields due to the drought,” said Cassara on something that proved to be tough for his mom and pop winery.
It all started as a dream of his dad’s, opened up in the 1980’s. For the last five years, he has been taking care of it, along side his wife Bridget. He says the lack of rain could put wineries like him out of business.
“If we don’t get the rain we need this year, another couple of years like we had last year could be the end of small vineyards, some of the small owners,” added Cassara.
His vineyard is known for making Pinot Noir. His family owns a taste room in Solvang.
Cassara says as long as the rain falls in steady and constant amounts they will be back on schedule to growing with their crops.
In order for grapes to grow, they need to suck up the water from down under the roots. Too much rain fall could also be dangerous and cause it all to just wash away.
Cassara says he is optimistic and hopes to continue to see a steady amount of rain throughout the winter. He says harvest time will be between August and October.