April 2, 2010 | by Brent Young

Does is snow in Sonoma County wine country? Sometimes in the mountains, but not often. An interesting cold front lingered over the Alexander Valley and its vineyards in the spring of 2010, considered one of the coldest growing seasons for Northern California winemaking in recent years. Geyser Peak (3,455 feet elevation) and the surrounding mountains were dusted with snow, high above the vineyards on the valley floor–most of which recently underwent budbreak. We were a little nervous about the buds being harmed by frosts, but luckily the air temperature in our vineyards hovered around 36-38 degrees, protected from the cold higher-elevation air by a thick fog layer. Our vineyard team is always on high alert for potential cold fronts during spring, using electronic frost alarms that signal when potential threats arise. Wind machines are also turned on at night when the temperatures dip into the 30s.