One of the regions most treasured assets could be a lifeline for wineries in upstate New York. 

Last week, grape growers here were worried a potential frost could wipe out this year’s crop.

Thankfully, growers here were spared, but the Finger Lakes region wasn’t so lucky; and now wineries there are turning to growers in North East for help.

In early April, weather proved to be great by all normal standards.

The region had warmth and sunshine, which really pushed along the growth of plants, including the grapes.

But last week, there was a drop in temperature and a warning for grape growers locally as well as for our neighbors in New York and Ohio. A potential frost that could wipe out crops.

“We saw some cold temperatures here along Lake Erie recently, but those cold temperatures were really inland. Along the lakeshore, we talked to a lot of our growers, and they didn’t dip too far below. But up in the Finger Lakes, I’ve talked to some of the growers we work with up there, some of the farms and other wineries, and it is pretty bad in some spots,” said Mario Mazza, VP and general manager of Mazza Vineyards.

Mazza said some New York growers are seeing anywhere from a 10 percent loss to 100 percent of grape crops being wiped out, but it’s site specific and unique per location.

Now some of those businesses are turning to North East wineries, as they look to bounce back.

They’re going to look first and foremost if they can source fruit directly, that’s always a great option. But I think you’ll have a mix of whether it’s grapes, fresh juice, or there may be a market for some additional bulk wine,” Mazza said.

A representative with Mazza Vineyards said that each year, you’re never going to know what kind of weather is in store for your crops, but they’ll always try to do their best.

“There’s a little bit more variability with regards to what’s happening, with regards to climate change, and that’s something that we’re definitely feeling,” Mazza went on to say.

Mazza said some years they might provide help and other years, they could be the ones asking for it, it all depends on mother nature.

“Things happen, they’ll continue to happen, that’s the nature of being in this business so I think it’ll all balance out to some degree but it’s just going to take a little bit of effort,” Mazza went on to say.

We did reach out to wineries in the Finger Lakes and didn’t hear back from any so if we do, we’ll have an update on this story in the future.