Harsh Winter Results in Reduced Idaho Wine Grape Crop
CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A bitter cold winter snapped a lot of wine grape vines in the heart of Idaho wine country and this year's harvest is expected to be down significantly as a result.
The Capital Press Agriculture Weekly reports temperatures fell to as low as 18 below zero in January, forcing many vineyard growers to cut most of the vines to the ground and retrain them, diminishing the production of grapes this year. Caldwell wine maker and vineyard owner Ron Bitner says the damage is the worst he has seen in 35 years.
Idaho Wine Commission Executive Director Moya Shatz-Dolsby says wine grapes in northern, eastern and southcentral Idaho are OK. The damage occurred around the Caldwell area in southwestern Idaho, where the majority of Idaho's vineyards and wineries are located.