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Summer hail hurting local vineyards

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 18:12:02-04

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — 2021 brought some much needed business for Arrowhead Spring Vineyards in Lockport.

"Things were just starting to get better," Co-owner Robin Ross said, "really back to normal I would say."

Then recent heavy rains and hail storms took their toll. The grapes used to make wine can be pretty delicate, and when the hail came hard and fast, it punctured a lot of the berries. Those punctured berries are unusable for wine making.

According to Ross, many vineyards are seeing similar issues. Usually when there's a hail storm, either punctured grapes will fall off the vine on their own, or they can harm the vine itself.

"If (the grapes don't fall) the cluster of grapes can get an infection and actually hurt the entire cluster and those around it."

The only thing that can help is more sunshine and less rain. Fortunately, the grapes that were harmed wouldn't be used for wines produced this year, as the vineyard has a two-year fermenting process.

"It was a tough thing to have happen but I feel bad for the farmers who had vegetable crops, there isn't a backup for that type of thing."