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Notes From The Vineyard

Is anyone else sick and tired of winter yet? Spring officially sprang this week but unfortunately I think the Cleveland area missed that memo, so here we are surviving with cold temperatures and potentially more snow. The cold temperatures and extra moisture has lead to a very popular topic amongst the wineries – “how are your vineyards doing?”

Thankfully, the vines are handling the snow and cold temperatures without a problem. Keep in mind last year at this time we were already seeing bud break so this is great weather to have right now! While the ground up here has ranged from frozen to very wet, the wineries down South have had to worry about the vines getting too much water. Besides the debris that the waters are bringing, wineries are also worrying about any erosion around the plants that may expose some of the roots.

While it has been cold up here the vineyards in the area have braved the weather quite well. Many vineyard workers and managers have also braved the elements the past week as they wrap up pruning and preparing their vineyards for the growing season. As we finish pruning this week, we can only hope that it will actually feel like Spring here soon.

However, as everyone prepares their vineyard, there is another nagging thought about could we see a late frost again in May? The past three years have plagued us with last frosts towards the end of May which causes more damage to vines than the flooding at this point. Because most of the grapes will see bud burst in the next 3 weeks, any freezing temperatures will most likely kill the buds on that vine and therefore will stop production on that vine.

Realistically only Mother Nature can control how wet, dry, hot or cold we are going to be so until she decides the weather, I am getting my winter gear on to go back to pruning!

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Amanda Conkol and her husband Chris are the owners of Candlelight Winery in Garrettsville, Ohio. Amanda’s passion for wine is evident in her weekly column “Notes From The Vineyard”, but that’s not all Amanda is passionate about. She maintains a full schedule raising twin daughters, working a day job consulting as an IT Project Manager and is the Girl Troop Leader for her daughters’ troop. When time allows Amanda loves to travel (especially to Disney World) and go for runs throughout Nelson Township.

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