A whine for our wine

The vagaries of Colorado’s weather are well known to anybody who has been in the state for more than a few weeks. But the one-two punch dealt to this region’s grape industry was an especially unfortunate weather phenomenon.

The first blow came in December and it was a knockout blow to many grape vines in the valley. Temperatures in some parts of the Grand Valley dipped as low as 22 degrees below zero, wiping out entire varieties of wine grapes at some vineyards.

With a long interlude between that devastating attack was followed by last week’s cold snap, in which below-freezing temperatures destroyed grapes on many vines that had survived the December freeze.

That will have serious consequences, not only for the vineyards that grow the grapes, but for the increasing number of area wineries that depend on locally grown grapes to produce their wine.

State officials and local vineyard owners are still assessing the extent of the damage to area grapes. In some areas it may not be as dire as originally expected.

However, based on what they already know, it’s clear the 2010 vintage of Grand Valley wines won’t be a bumper crop. We join thousands in this area and elsewhere in hoping the worst has passed, and that local grape growers are able to salvage the remainder of their crops this year.


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