Area Vineyards Hit Hard by Weekend Frost
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vintners in southern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota are reeling from a weekend cold snap that ruined huge swaths of their grapes.
Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday dropped below freezing in much of those areas, killing grape buds that had emerged early due to a warm spring.
Wisconsin Grape Growers Association President Steve Johnson said Tuesday that vineyards west of Madison suffered the most. He says at least 30 vineyards lost more than 50 percent of their crops.
John Falconer, who owns Falconer's Vineyards in Red Wing, Minnesota, says he lost his entire crop.
Wineries have their 2016 inventories on the shelves, but they'll feel the effects of the kill as they prepare next year's product. Johnson says many will be forced to buy grapes from elsewhere.