GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Sub-zero temperatures in December killed grape vines across the Grand Valley and after assessing the damage, wineries say they've lost a large percentage of their crop.
Temperatures in east Palisade dipped to minus four, Orchard Mesa got as cold as 16 below and Grand Junction was the worst at negative 18. With every degree the mercury dipped below zero, the vines slowly died.
Bruce Talbott with Talbott Farms has 120 acres of vineyards. His property is in Palisade, but he also has crops further west in Orchard Mesa. His grape crop in Palisade lived through the bitter cold, but his other vineyards in Orchard Mesa were not as lucky.
"Where we had those colder temperatures, I don't think we have much crop left. Minus eight and nine, it will be April before we know what we have. And up here we're in pretty good shape," says Talbott.
Talbott says he's estimating about a 60 percent loss. Other wineries estimate there is damage to their crop, but haven't yet looked at exactly how much.
A researcher at the Colorado State University Field Office says wineries in Orchard Mesa and further west lost 100 percent of their crop and won't be making any wine in 2010.
However if they saved wine from their fruitful 2008 and 2009 crop, they should be able to have enough to sell this season.