Rain causes temporary problem for grapes and wine growers

Rain causes temporary problem for grapes and wine growers

The combination of rain and heat in our area has created a breeding ground for mildew impacting grapes and local wineries.  

While most area farmers are happy for the rain, local wineries like Bar Z in canyon are trying to stay on top of a growing issue. 

"They're doing the best they can but these people aren't used to having this type of weather," owner of Bar Z Monty Dixon told us about area growers.  

As a result of rain followed by hot days, grapes are developing a mildew that can ruin the fruit if it's not addressed right away.  

"High moisture will always run the risk of powdery and downy mildew so we have to get in there and spray. If you see the problem it's kinda too late," Dixon said. He also added the problem can be hard to fix once the skin has broken, attracting bugs.

But not to worry. Even though our recent weather has created some fruit not fit for fermenting, Dixon is positive wine lovers will be raising their glass to a welcomed weather miss that has left behind a promising harvest. 

"We have our largest crop ever hanging on the vines right now. We missed that drastic late freeze we sometimes get. All our primary buds are hanging, all the fruit we started with is still there," he said. 

As for the mildew, Dixon says it will not greatly impact the wine industry right now. 

Locally the wine industry is steadily growing. Dixon mentioned there are around a thousand acres across the high plains used solely for planting grapes.