Freezing Temperatures At Night May Cause Vineyards To Lose Grapes

NACHES HEIGHTS, WA – Since the weather temperature is changing, It’s not just us who have to get used to the colder temperatures, grapes also have to ease into it; but if the temperatures drop too quickly it may have some damaging effects.

“Farming can be extremely rewarding but it can also be a lot of broken dreams” said Phil Cline, Owner and manager of Naches Heights Vineyards.

With the freezing cold nights starting soon, vineyards around the region are trying to finish their harvest early this year.

“If it’s 50 degrees for a week and all of a sudden it turns 20 at night and stays that way were looking at potential damage.” said Cline.

What kind of damage are we looking at?

“The fruit will start to desiccate and dry out after the leaves fall off after the sever frost and you have probably a minimum of 3 or 4 days to get everything off before it starts to really fall apart on you.” said Cline.

The sugars in the grapes prevent the fruit from freezing completely over until it hits about 20 degrees but a negative effect is that plants need to adjust to temperatures slowly.

“Today I’m wearing a jacket and two weeks ago I didn’t need one.” said Cline. “Plants are the same way, they take a little bit of time so a rapid change in temperature isn’t ideal.”

That’s why they started their harvest earlier this year to get the plants ready for the cold temperatures.

“What I want them to do is turn dormant as quickly as possibly so the fruits picked off of this, you’ll see an immediate drop of leaves that turn out” said Cline. “Its almost like the plants know what is going on, so dormant is good.”

Source: NBC Right Now