Knowing the Snow and Vines
“While winter may seem like a time of rest for the area’s grapevines, this season is just as critical as the rest. The biggest winter threat in the Monticello AVA is the possibility of sub-zero temperatures. Temperatures below -1°F can permanently damage a vine and effect its production potential for years to come as well as its overall survivability.
There are many things a vineyard manager can do to protect against cold temperatures, from “hilling up” dirt around the base of new vines for insulation to using windmills (or even helicopters) to circulate warm and cold air. But nature has perhaps one of the best methods of protecting vines from extreme cold: snow.
Snow, which remains relatively the same temperature itself, forms a protective blanket around a dormant vine, helping it maintain a steady temperature right around freezing. Snow also allows for a replenishment of ground water if melting occurs at a constant rate. So while the weekend forecast may look ominous…stock up on your favorite local wine and rest assured in knowing that all the snow is actually good for something!” – Sarah Craun with the Monticello Wine Trail
Image of White Hall Vineyards
From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings,an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily