Winery grapes slow to grow after bitter cold winter

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The harsh winter we had took a heavy toll on a Lexington winery. Cold temperatures knocked out European varieties of grapes at Talon Winery. Those grapes are used for some of the most expensive wines.

Back in April, winemakers at Talon Winery were nervous the bitter cold winter would affect their buds. Grapes are starting to grow, but some vines just aren't as green as others.

"We grow a few European varieties that don't like it much past minus four. And so I was worried, and I still am, about how they're gonna do this summer," explained Talon's winemaker Kerry Jolliffe, "the shoots are very sporadic, and it looks like we're gonna have much less fruit than normal."

The European varieties make up some of Talon Winery's more expensive bottles. The Cabernet Sauvignon and the Cabernet Franc cost about $25 each. Jolliffe says there is a silver lining to losing a majority of their European grapes.

"Fruit quality really goes up when your crop load is less because there's less fruit to ripen on the vine so there's less stress involved," Jolliffe explains, "that little fruit these vines are gonna have should be really good quality."

Talon owners say their hybrid wines stood up to the cold temperatures, and production of those won't be affected.

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