Wineries Brace for Crop Damage from Cold

February 17, 2014 Updated Feb 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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February 17, 2014 Updated Feb 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM EDT

PORTLAND, NY (WKBW) - The Polar Vortex could send the local grape crop, used in many cases to make wine, down the drain.

Grape buds and vines throughout Western New York have been damaged by the winter's ultra cold weather.

Growers are still trying to assess the damage.

At 21 Brix Winery in the Chautauqua County Town of Portland, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said researchers have found that an average of 50 percent of Upstate New York grape vines have been damaged.

"We can estimate that there are many farms that will have 90 percent damage. We don't know the full damage yet. Many will have very significant damage," Schumer said.

"I want the federal government to be Johnny on the Spot to help," he added.

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