Local winemakers prepare vines for cold temps - Tucson News Now

Local winemakers prepare vines for cold temps

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Southern Arizona wine makers hope freezing temps won't cause the year to start off on a sour note.  In 2010 the region experienced a freeze that killed crops, so this year, growers are tending their vines with extra care.

"Once that hard freeze first hits, all the leaves will drop off and the vine goes into dormancy or it pretty much goes to sleep," says Lori Reynolds with Sonoita Vineyards.

This season is shaping up to be a successful one, but growers still remember the cold temps that destroyed their vines.

 "Most of the vines that did die were young.  All these went through it they just lost all their fruit."

Sonoita Vineyards had to buy grapes from Wilcox just to get by.  With chilly nights ahead, owners have shut off the water and started pruning.  They're also storing clippings that can be used later to make new plants.

"We just let mother nature run her course."

Even if the vines survive this month, growers are not in the clear.  Wine makers always expect a hard freeze in May.

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