KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This week's extreme cold could mean you'll end up paying more for a bottle of wine. Winemakers in the Midwest, and across the country, could see multimillion-dollar losses in this year's growing season.
Michael Amigoni, of Amigoni Urban Winery in Kansas City, is worried about how the cold impacted his vineyards, especially certain types of grapes.
"Temperatures of negative 8 to negative 10 degrees on the grapevines, we can suffer damage to the buds, and the buds are what produce the fruit for the next year's crop," Amigoni said.
Monday morning's air temperature in the Kansas City area dropped to negative 10 degrees, but the crops could have been protected by insulation from nature.
"Was there ice and snow on the grapevines that created a thermal effect? With that, your actual damage could be a lot less than you thought," Amigoni said.
Any damage to the grape plants means the price of wine could go up, but it could also produce better tasting wine.
"The actual flavors will be enhanced, because the plant will be struggling more to produce the fruit," Amigoni said.
Winemakers won't know the extent of the damage until February or March, when they start pruning the grape buds.