Officials at Williamsburg Winery are worried that a storm dropping hail and intense rain Friday may have destroyed the grape crop at the largest winery in the state.
Courtney Darden is the winery's marketing director. She says a storm that started at about 7:15 that evening looked like it was just going to dump several inches of rain on the 26-acre vineyard.
But instead, dime-sized hail pelted the vines for eight minutes followed by nearly an hour of violent wind and harsh rain that ripped the plants to pieces.
She says, "In many areas, it looked as if somebody had taken a baseball bat to the vines."
The cost of the winery's damage hasn't yet been fully assessed.
The Williamsburg Winery opened in the mid-1980s and released its first wines in 1987. The following year, Williamsburg's Governor's White won a Gold Medal. The winery is about three miles from Colonial Williamsburg.