Iowa's grape harvest is underway in many parts of the state and the news from the field is not good. State Viticulturist Mike White says a cold and wet spring destroyed many of the vines and production statewide could be down between 30 and 40 percent. He says " there are some spots like Dubuque that seem to be fairing better, but mostly the cold damage is there and the yield is low."
White says many vineyards in Western Iowa survived the cold weather, but a late summer thunderstorm wiped out much of the crop with hail. He says the situation is even worse in Minnesota and Wisconsin where the harvest is expected to be cut by more than 50 percent.
The good news is that last year was exceptional and many vineyards have sufficient inventories to carry them through.