Winter causes harvest shortage at local vineyards

La Crescent vineyard will only harvest 7,000 pounds of grapes

The harsh winter is causing struggles form Minnesota grape farms.

Many of them are seeing a harvest shortage.

One northern Minnesota vineyard says they will harvest only 7,000 pounds of grapes compared to the typically 25,000.

A La Crescent vineyard is estimated to be down about 30 percent.

Owner of Riverview Vineyard and Winery Brad Helstad said the biggest reason is the prolonged freezing we dealt with.

“If we would have got the snow cover prior to the frost getting in deep before the deep freeze, I think we would have been better off,” Helstad said.

Minnesota wineries use grapes that are designed to better withstand the cold, but not necessarily the extreme cold we felt this winter.