Serving, Growing Ohio’s Grape and Wine Industry

Last January, January 6th
the official day of the polar vortex we experienced really damaging temperatures.
Anywhere from around twenty below zero to about sixteen below zero
where it killed the fruiting buds and it killed actual grape vines.
And we’ve never experienced any damage like this before.
And we’ve never we really didn’t know the extent
of the damage on the vines until April May in that time frame when we didn’t see any
buds developing and even some of the
trunks cracked. But the impact of that was dramatic
we have no crop at all in our vinifera and we grow varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot
Noir, Cabernet Franc, Riesling
and without any grapes, we were forced to buy
a lot of grapes. But it’s had a huge impact
as far as the grape production not to mention the actual wine loss
which is two or three years spanning. Because in some of the vineyards
that will have to be replaced from the ground up with new vines we will not get the first crop is three to four years out.
So the impact is just dramatic and millions and millions of dollars.
Actually in the viticulture program at Ohio State
one of our focus of the research is cold hardiness of grapes.
So really that’s one of my expertise in this field
of learning more about how grapes cope with freezing with cold in general.
After this cold event our growers really needed a lot of help in terms of how to not only
assess the damage but also how to deal with the vines
that are damaged. And we conducted a lot of workshops just to
show them how to prune the vines. Our relationship with Ohio State goes way
back in the 1980’s
We’ve had a long standing relationship with on-going research in the winery
and in the vineyards. Currently with Imed Dami
our research stems lately from the cold winter vortex
where we’ve had a lot of the vines killed and damaged
from the minus twenty degree temperatures. Current research is kind of involved to
the extent of the damage to determine the actual damage and
to have pruning studies done to see what was the best way to prune
these injured vines. We have not had temperatures that cold
since 1994 here and myself and a lot of the grape growers
have not experienced this cold damage. So we need research to help us
kind of figure out what’s the next step and see what our future is in these vineyards.

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