Spring Frosts Continue to Affect Central VA Grapes

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Mother Nature unleashed a big blow to the wine industry overnight Monday. The heavy frost has damaged the grape buds that will make the 2013 vintage.

From vineyard to vineyard you get a different story. Some wineries have lost 20 percent or more of the grape crop.

Veritas Vineyard & Winery says it could have been a lot worse. A frost last month wiped out half of the chardonnay. Cardinal Point reports a 20 percent loss from the overnight frost. Some vineyards in the Shenandoah Valley took the biggest hit with a complete wipeout. It was certainly a sleepless night for vineyard managers as they watched and waited. 

"It's a hit-or-miss situation. This time we got off by the skin of our teeth and with any luck we won't be seeing any more frost this year," said Bill Tonkins, manager at Veritas Vineyard and Winery.

What has been damaged will still produce grapes, just not as many.

"But in some ways you might even find that you get better quality cause the vines haven't got as much to push out," said Tonkins.

Overnight temperatures in the Afton area ranged from 27 to 32 degrees for a period of time.

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