Mother Nature has been throwing us plenty of cold temps this winter. On top of the hill in Massbach, we have seen as low as -14F so far in 2018. Do these cold temps affect the vines? No…… but? read on……….
The vines we grow are rated to survive temperatures as low as -40F. We saw lows like this back in 2014. The several acres of Vignoles we grow do not tolerate temperatures so low but tend survive. The truck may split and die but the roots live on. We then start retraining the vine and look forward to the vintage two years down the road. I think the Vignoles will be just fine this year IF all we experienced is a couple of weeks with lows at -5F .
But!? In between the sub-zero temps the past couple of weeks, warm streaks start making us think of spring. The vines do the same and may start relaxing, maybe start some juices flowing again. The seesaw of drastic temperatures is what may be the most harmful for the vine.
Vines in cold dormancy will sleep off the low temps until warmer temps wake the roots and they start taking in groundwater up through the vine. If this happens and another cold streak hits, the vine is more subject to crack and split causing considerable damage to the truck.
What will we do? Sit and wait. Stay warm. Drink some wine. East some cheese. And be thankful for all that Mother Nature give us.