May of 2016 Minnesotan’s experienced a late frost two days in a row. This wreaked havoc on a lot of local gardeners. While I was frantically trying to protect my newly planted seedlings; vineyards were having much bigger problems.
At Sovereign Estates, the first round of buds just begun to start breaking. This frost threatened to destroy over half their crop of grapes. This meant that the staff needed to take some quick action. They spend most of the night lighting fires to try and keep the frost from destroying their grapes.
The effects of frost on new buds is crippling. Most varieties of grapes will have anywhere from 1-3 different bud cycles and shoots at different times of the year. The first buds are the most prominent, producing the most amount of grapes. If they are lost, over half the crop would be lost too.
Other factors were in their favor that night. Because they placed their vineyard on a hill, facing a lake it helped protect their crop. The cold air was pulled into the lake like a magnet. The other vineyards in the region were not as lucky. They did not have the proximity advantage with the lake.
The grapes growing at Sovereign Estates are the La Crescent, Frontenac Blanc, and Marquette. With all their hard work, all the buds were saved. I can’t say the same about the neighboring Vineyards. This last October, they were able to put a full harvest of grapes into production. When you stop in to for a tasting, check to see if their 2016 varieties are available. A lot of hard work that went into creating this delicious drink. You’re looking for a 2016 La Crescent, 2016 Frontenac Blanc and 2016 Marquette. I haven’t gotten the chance to try the 2016 La Crescent, but the 2015 is amazing!
I was not as fortunate as Sovereign Estates with the frost. I found my attempts at covering my seedlings actually crushed them. Thankfully my little garden was replaceable. Maybe I should try their method and build some fires next spring! Ok, I’m just kidding. I have a new dome greenhouse system in place. Did anyone else survive the frost last year?