Botham Vineyards pushed off schedule by cold temperatures

Posted Sunday, March 2, 2014 --- 6:30 p.m.

At Botham Vineyards, their vines are old enough to withstand the winter, but the problem now is that it's just too cold to prune them.

Peter Botham does it all, and does it all alone. So he says now that mother nature is sticking around longer than expected this winter. It's going to mean a lot of work in a short period of time to make sure the shelves stay stocked.

"It's mostly just a labor thing, time for me to get everything done for the growing season that needs to get done. In what is becoming a smaller and smaller window of opportunity."

Spending his time indoors bottling as the winter lingers on. He says it's not only trimming the pruning season short, but the growing season.

"I'd rather have it get warmer sooner even thought it's going to make my life worse in terms of work."

He says the longer the grapes have to grow, the riper they are, meaning better wine.

"When I first went out into the vineyard I did not know what to expect, we haven't had a winter like this in a really long time."

But to Peter's surprise, his vines are in good shape. He says because they're so old they can handle the cold temperatures. But he says not all vineyards were as lucky.

"I know in a lot of places the damage is really severe."

Meaning there could be a huge fruit shortage come next fall. And although the Botham's vines made it through the winter OK, they cant say the same for the pipes. Having to operate the wine tasting room and winery without water because of a frozen pipe 6 feet underground.

"Customers are accommodating and they understand that this is an unusual winter."

And Peter says sometimes the best growing seasons come after very harsh winters. He says he can only hope that's the case this year.


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