|I have never had grapes in California and I was wondering if it is normal for them to die down and look almost dead this time of year? Thank you.|
|Grapevines die down during the winter months, so what you're observing is a perfectly natural process. Prune them back in early spring, before new growth begins. Here's a website that might be of interest:
It tells you all you need to know about growing grapes and includes illustrations to guide you through pruning!