In Decanter, Carolyn Evans Hammond says two of Ontario’s three wine-producing regions are experiencing damage to the vines as this long, cold winter continues:
Freezing temperatures across Ontario have damaged vines in the Canadian province’s vineyards, with some producers reporting bud loss of around 90%.
Producers in two of Ontario’s three wine appellations are already facing a smaller 2014 harvest after reporting severe bud loss in the past few weeks.
‘Our winery has 95 to 98% bud loss, so we won’t be getting grapes this year,’ says Tom O’Brien, owner of Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards in Lake Erie North Shore.
That appellation shows the most damage, with an average bud loss of 86 to 90% across all varieties, according to Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).
Meanwhile, average bud loss in Niagara Peninsula ranges from 34% for Pinot Noir to 66% for Syrah, according to CCOVI with Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc faring better than Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.
Due to the normally colder winters in Prince Edward County, most wineries bury the vines until spring, so the damage in that region will not be as bad as Lake Erie North Shore or Niagara/Beamsville.