Frost Damages Grapes at Vineyard in Valley

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

BRIDGEWATER, Va.---One vineyard in the Valley lost a big part of its crop to the frost on Tuesday morning.

Bluestone Vineyard president Curt Hartman said the frost damaged 75 percent of its vineyard. This year he expected to harvest 30 tons of grapes. However, now he may only be able to get 5 to 10 tons from the vineyard in Bridgewater.

"The frost is the one thing we can't fight," said Hartman.

He said temperatures dropped to 27 degrees and this only allowed mature grapes to survive.

"The roofs were solid white, the grass was white and if you walked out and looked at the grapes, you could see frost in all the buds," said Hartman.

Hartman said other vineyards may use windmills to stir air and burn fires to create heat.

However, with these low temperatures, he said could not do anything to prevent it.

"It was so cold, It was such a deep freeze, that there was nothing we could do to prepare for that," said Hartman.

He bought other grapes from other locations and that will help make up for the loss.

We placed a fairly large order so we will be able to come through fairly well, but it's still a setback," said Hartman.

Hartman estimates the loss at $30,000.

"We were looking at 90 tons to process and everything and we're at about 60 so from that standpoint, we lost a third of our production from this fall," said Hartman.

Hartman said he ordered grapes from other locations in the valley. Therefore, customers will not notice the difference.

However, vineyards will not be able to age more wine or increase inventory.

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