Grape growers get nervous when temperatures drop into the 20s in April as they did in some parts of Iowa Wednesday night. State Viticulture Specialist Mike White says a freeze warning is always cause for concern but he's had no reports of damage, "for the most part things look pretty good in Iowa. There may have been a vineyard or two in Southern Iowa in a low area that had frost, but I think right now,we're looking pretty good."
A cold and wet spring in 2014 along with a late summer thunderstorm in western Iowa reduced the state's wine production by as much as 40 percent. Many of Iowa's 100 plus wineries had a bumper crop in 2013 and had sufficient inventories to get them through.
White says grapes do have some insurance against the cold. He says they have three buds on the vine, "the first is 100 percent fruitful. If it is damaged, the second has the ability to produce 30 to 50 percent of a crop. The third bud does not produce fruit but will sustain the plant for the season.