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Notes from the vineyard

Wow – this weather is fantastic!! I have been enjoying it as much as I could, cleaning up the branches, opening the windows in the house to let the fresh air in, going for a jog… it has been a great feeling. Unfortunately, as much as we have been enjoying the temperatures lately, I am quite fearful that we are going to have at least one more drop in temperatures before we fully get to enjoy this for the rest of Spring and Summer. When that drop happens or how low it goes, I don’t know but I sure hope it happens soon. We have pruned the vineyard and unfortunately were already starting to see the buds swelling. If this great weather trend continues the vineyards are going to start coming out of their dormant stage and start budding way too early. Unfortunately, if the temperatures do drop below freezing, this could be detrimental to the vines. Last year we saw similar activity where we had some great days in early March, followed by a freeze in April. Thankfully, our vines escaped much damage during that timeframe but we ended up with a very late frost in early May which killed most of our vines. So what can you do to prevent this? Unfortunately there’s not a lot that you can do. If you have planted flower baskets, you can always bring the plants into a garage or a basement during the late frosts, but when you have three acres of grapes, it’s not as simple as bringing them inside. Many wineries have now invested in wind machines and sprinklers that help control the temperature of air and keeps the grapes wet enough that the water on the vines freeze but not the new buds. For smaller wineries, if we know there is a frost coming, we have the option of burying the vines with mulch; however, if the vine has already started budding, we are out of luck and decide that there’s always next year. In the meantime, I won’t worry about what kind of weather is yet to come, so I might as well enjoy the weather we have now. Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Street, Garrettsville. For more information on some of these events or wine lists from the winery, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com or call 330.527.4118.

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