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Cold weather & wine impact

NAPLES, N.Y. Mother Nature's cold winter is affecting local grape vines in the Finger Lakes area, and some growers are bracing for potential loss this season.

John Brahm, owner of Arbor Hill Vineyard, said "right at this point in time we would estimate that the crop will be down between 25 to 35 percent below a normal year."

Its a loss other grape growers in the region are expected to see.

Brahm said some grape vines are better at withstanding the cold, but the more tender vines could be in trouble.

"It's going to be a major consideration and could be a major blow because they won't have many grapes to harvest," said Brahm.

And in extreme cases, the cold temperatures can even lead to something called severe trunk injury. Brahm said if that happens, the vineyard will have to be replanted.

While local grape growers will be taking a hit this season with the cold temperatures, local wineries will still be in good shape because of last year's reserves. This years loss, though, will affect wineries next year.

As for wine enthusiasts, wineries and grape growers said there may be a possible hike in price next year.

These varieties are in high demand and there will be a low quantity of them, said Brahm. The effect will come about a year from now.

Grape growers said it's still early to tell the total amount of loss for this season. They said it depends on how the rest of the spring and summer play out.

 
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