Freeze Hurts Wine, Consumers
The agriculture inspectors found that 90% of the primary grape buds are ruined, which hurts the winery industry that typically generates more than $6 million a year. The big question is, will the vineyards be able to recover? With Missouri grapes looking grim, Jim Anderson, the Executive Director of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board says wine production is dependent on buying grapes elsewhere, at a cost.
"Our concern is with this freeze, and how bad are the grapes, really? Are we going to have grapevine mortality out there? And if that's it, it will take another two or three years of work to train the grapevine and get it retrained before it starts producing again," said Anderson.
"It's going to be interesting to see what prices cost winers going out and what they're gonna have to pay for this juice on the open market. Prices are going to be higher with limited grapes, " said Anderson.
Anderson says the grape damage has a significant ripple effect. Missouri wine usually ages in a couple of years, so this freeze won't only be felt now, but also when consumers buy Missouri wine in the years to come.