An early freeze loomed for Colorado’s grapes, but wine drinkers’ evolving taste is the real threat | VailDaily.com
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An early freeze loomed for Colorado’s grapes, but wine drinkers’ evolving taste is the real threat

Nancy Lofholm, The Colorado Sun
Crews from Talbott Farms, the largest grape producer in Colorado, rush to harvest before a hard freeze near Palisade, on Oct. 10, 2019. (Barton Glasser, Special to The Colorado Sun)

It’s grape harvest season in the Grand Valley, and that means it’s time to ponder an emerging wine-country dichotomy. Vintners were recently scrambling to save their grapes as an early freeze settled in and temperatures plunged into the low 20s. But, in the next few months, some of these same growers will be struggling to find markets for certain varieties of grapes. Some of that fruit will go to waste.

The supply of wine grapes has outstripped the demand in Colorado’s prime wine country.

Last year about 400 tons of grapes were left on the vines and went unused, unless one takes into account birds that feasted on the grapes after they shriveled on the vine. 

This year isn’t expected to be much different in the Grand Valley American Viticulture Area.

This freeze turned the leaves in the vineyards to a crinkled brown but didn’t harm the glut of grapes. The low temperatures didn’t stick around long enough to freeze and split the fruit. Plus, the dead foliage actually made it easier for pickers to see the grape clusters and speed up the harvest.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.


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