QUESTION: I recently saw a picture of a vineyard that was covered with snow. Is that harmful to the vines?
ANSWER: No. Not unless that snow cover extends well into spring, that is.
Winter is the time when grapevines rest up. In the fall, they complete their yearly cycle by (hopefully) ripening their berries to perfection. They then go dormant until springtime, when the cycle begins anew.
When the snow subsides — or in regions that receive no snow — an important task is undertaken in vineyards. The vines are pruned, as trained eyes (and hands) select the wood that will provide the fruit for the coming year — not to mention shape the vines for years to come.
Snow can actually provide protection for the vines during the bitterly cold winter months, particularly in Northeastern and Midwestern vineyards. So don’t fret; at least for now, that snow you see on the vines is doing no harm.
Just because grapevines are dormant this time of year, it doesn’t mean that our palates are. Click here to learn about some tasty wines that are perfect for wintertime drinking you can get on sale for a limited time.