Hail damages crop at local vineyard - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Hail damages crop at local vineyard


Trepealeau Co. (WXOW) -- It is storm season, and this year's heat and humidity is bringing more hail to the area than usual. That hail damaged grape vines at Elmaro Vineyard near Trempeleau.

There is no way to prepare for it.

"That's what happens when you grow crops when you are in farming of any sort," said Cameron Delaney with Elmaro Vineyard. "You're working with nature, and sometimes it works with you, and sometimes it doesn't."

With nearly 50,000 grape vines, Elmaro Vineyard prides itself in producing wine on site. Damaging hail compromised those grapes.

"A lot of the grapes got knocked off the vines," Delaney said. "Grapes were broken open and that can let infection and things come into the grapes."

According to those at the vineyard, it could take up to two years for wine tasters to notice the full impact of the damage.

 "We're going to be able to make less wines," Delaney said. "For the white wines that will be next year's release and for red wines we're talking about two years from now that release."

Weather conditions this summer have created more hail storms in the area than usual.

"A lot of viewers will relate to the fact that it's been noticeably warmer this summer," said News 19 Weekend Meteorologist Alex Wasilenko. "Constant heat, constant humidity, and also so early on this well as these crops are developing, and growing throughout the summer. So, with all this excess heat and humidity, just some of the ingredients to fuel really severe thunderstorms that the northern parts of have been receiving."

For now, those at Elmaro Vineyard patiently wait to see how the grapes recover from the damage. 

"We're going through the vineyard every day just tracking the damage, seeing how those damaged grapes look, and seeing if any rot does spread to the rest of the clusters," Delaney said.

He wants to remind people that Elmaro Vineyard will continue business as usual during this summer season. For a list of hours, visit the their website.

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