Grape growers experiencing hard knocks

Owners of local orchards and vineyards lament harsh winter.
Aaron Krause
May 10, 2014

If you're looking to buy grapes straight from the grower this season, chances are you won't find any at Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights.

"The crop is lost," co-owner Mac Mclelland said -- echoing a statement growers of European-variety grapes like himself will likely make this growing season, due to the variety's sensitivity to the extreme cold the area experienced this winter.

"This has been a very bad winter for grape growers -- at least those growing the European varieties," Mclelland said.

Those grape varieties from overseas are in contrast to those grown in the northern part of the United States. Those are used to growing in freezing temperatures, so chances are they will have survived this past unusually cold winter, said Bob Matus, owner of Matus Winery in rural Wakeman.

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