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Drought Damages Vines as California Wineries Go Thirsty

Robert Nadeau, who produces “huge” Zinfandel wines near Paso Robles, California, said he sensed trouble when reddish silt started coming out of his faucets last year. Then, in August, nothing came out.

Nadeau has lived through three dry periods since he began farming six acres in the hills about 206 miles (332 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles in 1995. Last year was worse than any of them, he said. This year, with precipitation at one-sixth its seasonal average, promises to be even tougher for winegrowers in the area Wine Enthusiast magazine called Wine Region of the Year for 2013.