FINGER LAKES REGION, N.Y. (WENY) — Last night, freezing temperatures hit the Twin Tiers hard and vineyards in the Finger Lakes region experienced a lot of damage to their crops.
Vineyard heads from the eastern and western side of Seneca Lake agreed that this is the worst frost they have ever seen, in regard to their crops.
David Stamp, the vineyard manager at Lakewood Vineyards, said his crop growth was right on schedule. Then, the frost came.
“This is by far, in my forty years of doing this, it’s far and away the worst that we’ve ever had,” he said.
For nearly half of his crops, the freezing temperatures stopped any growth that was in progress.
“This scale…it’s going to be…it’s going to reduce our crop by 60, 70, 80 percent,” he said.
WENY’s Chief Meteorologist Joe Veres said some regions of the Twin Tiers got all the way down to 24 degrees Fahrenheit, early this morning. He added, the cold, dense air tends to settle down in low-lying areas
“Vineyards are typically on hillsides and one of the reasons why they’re on hillsides and one of the reasons why they’re on hillsides is because that colder, dense air usually filters down…off the hillside,” he said. “The only issue was, early this morning, temperatures were just so cold that even that effect wasn’t able to save a good portion of the grape crop.”
Glenn Allen, co-owner of Damiani Wine Cellars, has five different vineyards. Allen said, due to the freezing temperatures, roughly two-and-a-half of his vineyards are “probably okay”, and the other two-and-a-half range from 70 to 100 percent loss in usable crops.
Allen also said his vineyards are not the only ones that are damaged. It appears to be spread out, throughout the region.
“Even some vineyards, that have traditionally done well, got hit hard and part of that…for us…is vineyards that were on a flat table, at very little air movement,” he said.
Allen remains hopeful.
“I like to tell my customers, ‘If the vines provide…survive the winter, survive the frost, the results are spectacular,’” he said.
To come to terms with the devastating frost, Stamp said the crops looked great this year. It just so happens; Mother Nature has a way of telling people that she is in control.