Recent weather difficult for Michigan's grapes

Nov 26, 2019

Wet and cold temperatures this year have been hard on  Michigan’s wine grapes. Taylor Wizner reports.

The Lake Michigan coast conditions are usually an ideal climate for growing grapes. But a long winter, and freezing fall, left many grapes under developed.

Lee Lutes is the head winemaker at Black Star Farms in northwest Michigan. He says says they’ve lost up to thirty percent of their fruit.

“Really the grape vines laid dormant for probably two weeks. So it was just a slow start. And whenever we get a slow start like that it shortens our growing season… which always makes it a problem towards the end of the season.”

On top of that, he says the cold temperatures in late fall stopped the fruit from ripening fully, which helps the flavor.