Cold weather poses threat to vineyards - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cold weather poses threat to vineyards

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Recent overnight temperatures throughout our area have been down right cold. That may be a nuisance to some, but for wine makers, it could be damaging to their crop.

The Washington Wine Commission says they have not yet received any reports of damaged crops as a result of colder temperatures. Many wine makers have expressed concern over freezing temperatures and are keeping an eye on the mercury.

The cold weather we've been feeling can certainly pose a problem to many who grow crops such as grapes. But when those grapes are the lifeblood of many wineries and vineyards, it could cause a big problem for their bottom line. In order to protect that precious crop, some businesses already have prepared for the potential problem.

Greg Powers with Badger Mountain Vineyard says, "running wind machines would be it, if you got wind machines to protect your lower areas, that would be the number one thing. Once you do get a hard frost to burn your leaves, the grapes are done. They're not going to mature anymore, they're just going to deteriorate."

Many winemakers, like Powers, are either in the middle of harvest or almost finished. Powers says most of his grapes are already picked, but he points out that the wind machines have protected his grapes from past frost threats. Those without wine machines are hoping the temperature doesn't drop any more.

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