July 12, 2007 at 12:55 AM CDT - Updated July 26 at 8:25 AM
Winemakers still feel chill from April's frost By: Ryan Tate
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. - More than three months after a devastating cold snap gripped Missouri, state agriculture leaders estimate it cost farmers and agriculturalists more than $400 million in damages to crops.
Martin Strussione owns the Cave Vineyards in Ste. Genevieve. He said he will probably lose 50 percent of his crop, but will not know for sure until the grapes ripen.
"We had two to four inches of growth on new chutes, and they were totally damaged when the cold spell came through," Strussione said.
Cave Vineyards produces nine varieties of wines from four varieties of grapes. Some of the bunches of grapes are smaller than normal and the number of bunches are smaller.
"When I think of 2007, I will remember that cold snaps followed by heat spells are tough on grapes," Strussione said.
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt will allow winemakers to purchase grapes from out of state to help make up for the small harvest this year.