The weather in both the Umpqua and Rogue Valley AVAs has been dry, dry, dry this year. They have received only about one third the average rainfall. The weather has been consistent with predictions made by Climatologist Greg Jones, and is due to El Niño currents that cause a warming trend. This has also meant that bud break is likely to be very early, which has winegrowers in the valley very concerned, since early bloom means greater potential for frost damage. According to Michael Moore, Operations Manager for Quail Run Vineyards (who has 10 vineyards sites in the area) and South Stage Cellars, "Our buds are swelling, especially in the warmer sites, but haven't yet pushed. We've got our fingers crossed that temperatures will drop and bud break will be delayed until early April."
Warmer weather will induce bud break and if that happens Harvest will be earlier. But overall, having Harvest come earlier is not worth the stress and headache of trying to ensure that frost doesn't damage the vines. Because if the buds are out and the temperature drops too low they die. If they re-bloom, Harvest is pushed way back and the grower might not have the opportunity to harvest grapes at the level of maturity thats needed to make a balanced wine.