Cold Weather and Wine Grapes
WSU's Linda Weiford says happily, no cold damage was reported to grapevines after several nights of near zero temperatures in mid-December ...
LINDA WEIFORD ... "The growers start taking precautions in late August where they start holding back on the amount of water that they give to the vines so that the vines start acclimating and not growing so quickly, with the hope that by the time that it starts getting really cold they will be in full dormancy and they'll have full cold-hardiness so they'll be more resistant to cold temperatures."
Weiford says all 48,000-plus acres of wine grapes in Eastern Washington managed to pass the frigid test, well below the normal lows of 24 degrees ...
LINDA WEIFORD ... "I think at this point, they're really relieved because the big concern at this time of year is always, 'are the vines cold-hardy enough to withstand temperatures below zero?' And we know now that they are, so if it does drop to minus 10 in January, they'll be okay."
Weiford says that means most varieties should be able to withstand temps, this time of year, of between 8 and 15 below.
Listen tomorrow for more on what the winter could bring for Northwest grape growers.