Long winter destroys hundreds of vineyard grapes

FOREST CITY, Iowa – The impacts of this past winter are still lingering, and one north Iowa vineyard is suffering because of it.

The Mt. Valley Vineyard in Forest City has held strong with the majority of their vines, but owner Gary Ludwig tells us that the extremely cold temperatures knocked out an entire section of their grapes.

“It was a cold winter,” Ludwig says, “and it stayed for a long time.”

According to Ludwig, they are currently about two weeks behind schedule, and their “la crescent” grapes, used to create their best-selling white wine, are completely ruined.

This tough loss to Old Man Winter has left Ludwig no choice and, he says that they have started turning to their grape growing community to see if they can purchase new grapes to make up for their loss.

“We will go out and will buy from somebody else who grows grapes,” he says, “and we will buy a la crescent and pray that it will get us through this year because we will have to replant.”

Just like other types of farming, Mt. Valley Vineyards is at the mercy of the weather, and so far this spring, the few warm days we have seen have been extremely helpful in making the remaining vines grow.

However, for those of who love the Mt. Valley Vineyard wines, Ludwig says “not to worry”; they will still have their normal assortment of blends to choose from and they are hopeful to have their beloved la crescent grapes back in the mix soon.

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