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Time to hurry to see California's grape harvest


     If you’re thinking of visiting California wine country for this year’s harvest, you’d better hurry It’s already started – the earliest in at least 25 years. Blame it on global warming.

     Actually, it’ll extend into October, so you have a little time left.

     It’s a heady experience. You can drive up California Route 12 in Sonoma or 29 in Napa, pull over almost anywhere and literally smell the luscious, ripe grapes all around you.

     But you have to get up early. Temperatures can swing from 50 degrees in the Pacific fog of the mornings to 100 degrees in full sun at noon. Pickers start at 4 a.m., stop when it gets too hot.

     And now you can extend your trip into Mendocino County, north of Napa and Sonoma, if you listen to one grower. He says global warming will soon make his county a better place to grow grapes.


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Anybody have tips on where to stay for such a trip? In a budget to moderate range?

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