Wineries and vineyards hit hard after frost in May

Updated: Jul. 5, 2020 at 8:51 PM EDT
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GORDONSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -Freezing temperatures in May on top of a global pandemic nearly created a recipe for disaster, but Horton Vineyards found a way to overcome those challenges.

By the middle of may, the plants had already started budding thanks to a warm winter. Frost was wine grower’s worst nightmare.

“There were a lot of anti frost measures that a lot of vineyards took to try and help keep the air warmer, because we had lots of buds break because it was so late in the season,” General Manger of Horton Vineyard Shannon Horton said.

Even with preventative measures, there was only so much that could be done.

“We’re also in a lower Valley,” Horton explained. “So, in there’s not a lot of air movement.”

On top of the worries about the grapes, Horton’s Winery had to overcome another obstacle: the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus forced the vineyard to get creative and add services they weren’t used to, while closing their tasting room doors.

“We did curbside [pickup],” Horton said. “We did delivery, we’re doing instant shipping. We didn’t have a wine club before, we started a wine club because people were coming here regularly. We wanted to offer them some inclusiveness.”

Taking advantage of their time closed to the public, Horton Vineyards took the time to bring out some new wines including some that haven’t been made in decades. In total, the winery created six new wines.

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