Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.24.2013  
 

Idaho Wine Grapes Get Early Start

Bud break in full swing; extent of winter damage not yet clear

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Alternative text
 
Bud break, as seen here at Ron Bitner's vineyard in southern Idaho, occurred early in the state after a cold winter damaged some vines.
Caldwell, Idaho—With bud break in full swing three weeks earlier than usual, Idaho growers are optimistic that chilly weather in January and February won’t dampen prospects for the 2013 crop.

 “All of our established stuff is fine,” said Ron Bitner of Bitner Vineyards, a 15-acre planting above the Snake River in southern Idaho. He’s expecting a normal season, “knock on wood.”

Bitner’s observations highlight the positive side of comments in a snapshot of the Northwest winery and vineyard sector issued by Northwest Farm Credit Services earlier this month.

Crop volumes across the region were cause for rejoicing in 2012, but a chill hung over Idaho as temperatures hit some vineyards hard in January and February. “Colder conditions in Idaho leave some uncertainty about damage that may have occurred during the winter, but overall conditions are positive,” the report opined.

Some trunks split
“We had a very cold January,” said Moya Shatz Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission. “Some of the trunks are actually split.” But the full extent of the damage isn’t known, nor whether it will limit the 2013 crop.

Dolsby said information is still coming in, while Bitner noted that a neighbor’s recent planting saw losses of 30% to 40%. Those vines weren’t yet producing, while established plantings on his own property as well as at other locations — including the 400-acre Skyline Vineyards property in Nampa, Idaho — emerged unscathed.

The hardiness of the older vines suggests there won’t be a significant impact on grape production in Idaho this year, at least not from winter weather.

Bitner added that the latest bank of cool weather to move through the region also left little mark. While the risk was serious enough for Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet service to issue a frost alert April 12 (it remained in place through April 24), most vineyards in Washington State saw little danger first-hand.

Water is main concern
Similarly, as the front moved into Idaho, Bitner said temperatures never fell below 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Good air drainage on Idaho’s sloping vineyard sites helped cool air pool at lower elevations below most of the state’s vineyards.

“As long as our vineyards are on the hillsides, it’s got to get down to 22, 23 degrees to really cause serious bud damage,” he said.

The main concern for growers is water. With little precipitation in Idaho this past winter, some reservoirs are looking at 30% less water than normal. “It’s not critical yet but it’s the first we’ve had like that in five or six years,” he said.

The National Weather Service recorded 6.4 inches of precipitation at Emmet, Idaho, a short distance east of Caldwell, versus a long-term average for the period of 10.5 inches.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 30 - August 1
     
    Indy International Wine Competition
     
  • August 1-3
     
    West of West Festival
     
  • August 2
     
    Urban Wine Xperience
     
  • August 5
     
    Fresno State Grape Day
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Having managed vineyards that have used both approaches, I would say that a diverse approach...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Central Regional Sales...
 Chicago, IL
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Sales Ass...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine Technician, Stags...
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Sales Representative -...
 San Francisco, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Packaging Coordinator ...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Banshee Wines Tasting ...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Estate House Host (Sea...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Marketing Coordinator
 Santa Rosa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative -...
 South Bay, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative -...
 Westside, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.