Worried about wine? Vineyard manager says cold OK

Worried about wine? Vineyard manager says cold OK

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- The Umpqua Valley is prime territory for producing wine because of the mild climate.

So what does this harsh winter weather mean for local vineyards? Local officials say hopefully not much.

Eric Dietz, a vineyard manager for Pyrenees Vineyards, says they haven't seen weather like this for several years. "The cold snap that we're experiencing doesn't happen every year," he said. "The last one was back in the Winter of 2009."

Don't worry wine lovers, Dietz says this freeze won't slow down the wine-making process. "If the grapes are still on the vine when it snows, that can cause us problems. But, we got the grapes off and the snow basically just helps shut the plants down for Winter time, it puts them into dormancy," he said.

Dietz says he  welcomes the snow, because losing the leaves makes his job easier. "If it freezes this time of year, it just puts the plants to sleep for the Winter, which for me is a good thing. We do all of our pruning in the Winter time and leaves would just be in the way."

Dietz is in the process of pruning all 18 acres at the Pyrenees Vineyard to get ready for next year's harvest.