Friday, April 15, 2016

Saving the Grapes

Keswick Vineyards Preparing for the Cold
During our recent early April weekend to the Charlottesville, Virginia, area; home to the Monticello AVA, we discovered the extreme measures to which vineyards resort in an effort to save the vines in advance of freezing temperatures.
Fire Breathing Machine

All too often, we as wine drinkers forget that wine making is agriculture and as such the growers are subjected to the extremes of the environment and the weather. When adverse weather arrives, without intervention, the crop might be lost. That would be catastrophic for many wineries. In that case, desperate measures are adopted. 

Propane Windmill
Helo over Keswick Preparing for Nightfall
As oenophiles become more knowledgeable about the difficulties facing grape growers, we can appreciate the final product more and understand that great wine is neither an assured outcome nor an accident.

On the Battle Lines Combatting the Freeze
We want to thank Keswick Vineyards for giving us the insight into the hard work that it takes to try to protect the vines from frost damage. The owners and staff pulled a number of "all-nighters" as did the owners and staffs of many other wineries in the region to save the wines. 

We found it interesting that just 90 miles north, bud break had not occurred and the vineyards were not particularly worried about the cold weather. What a difference a few miles can make.

Hopefully the too cold weather is over and we will be able to enjoy some very nice 2016 vintage Monticello AVA wines in the future.

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD

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