Local winery seeing the impacts of cold weather

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Many industries have seen the impact of February’s winter weather, and with a few months left until harvest local winery Messina Hof is seeing the toll mother nature has taken.

According to Messina Hof CEO and Owner, Paul M. Bonarrigo, cold weather impacts the winery differently and February’s bitter temperatures left their mark on the Estate Vineyard.

“The fact that we got so cold did hurt some of our buds, and so we wound up not getting as much fruit this year as we would’ve gotten if we didn’t get the freeze,” said Bonarrigo.

Justin Scheiner, an extension viticulture specialist at Texas A&M says it’s too early to know exactly the total loss on this season for Bonarrigo and the Texas wine industry as a whole.

“At this point in the season, we don’t have a handle on exactly what the loss is going to be, but as we get closer to harvest and we start to estimate our yield and what our production is like, we will have a better understanding,” said Scheiner.

For Bonarrigo, he estimates currently his loss at 30-40 percent for Lenior and Sagrantino fruit and almost a total loss in Blanc du Bois. In regard to harvest, he is still figuring it out.

“It will be a delayed harvest, so by about two to three weeks,” said Bonarrigo. “It will also create an opportunity for an increase in quality.”

“Even though it’s heartbreaking to talk about the fruit loss when the vine has less of a fruit that is hanging it is able to ripen a lot better, so you end up with richer flavor, sweeter fruit, which actually produces better quality wine, so there is actually an upside to the weather we have had.”

Currently, the vineyard plans to still have its annual Harvest Festival starting in August. Click here to learn more about the festival.

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