It’s not unusual for a winery to lose a portion of their crop; usually, they can expect a loss of 10-20% each year. But after wildly fluctuating temperatures this spring, Philippe Coquard of Wollersheim Winery says they have lost much more. Coquard says, no wine sales will be affected this year, as the harvest is done one year ahead of time. But next year there won’t be any of their estate wines available.
“The rain and snow events we had in April made our early budding grapes waterlogged and frozen,” explains Coquard. “We lost about eighty to ninety percent of our red grape crops because of this.”
While this is a major setback, he says it will not affect the prices of their wine moving forward as he wants consumers to remain happy. This loss will not affect the 2023 supply, however it will affect the 2024 yield and product availability. While Coquard purchases grapes from New York and Washington, the wines made from the grapes grown on his estate, will not be able to be replaced for a few years.
“Unfortunately we won’t have any of our Domaine du Sac, Domaine Reserve, or Ruby Nouveau wines available in 2024. So if you want to grab one of those estate wines, now is the time to do it.”
Even with the equipment they have for frost protection, this was a battle they couldn’t win. Coquard says what’s happened has happened, he is more worried about how to adjust for the future to try and prevent it from happening again.
He has begun going through and selecting which vines they can keep, which to retrain, and which to take a loss on. He says it may take until 2025 or longer to have a sense of normalcy again. Coquard has changed his order and planting plan so that instead of replanting the same early budding vines he just lost, he will have some later budding ones in hopes of having less weather effects.
“It’s going to be easily about $100,000 that we won’t be making. We cut our fertilizer amount down but we still have to spray for weeds and fungus, pay the vineyard crew, and have the possibility of it costing more to retrain the vines. So this is a major loss, no doubt about it.”
To purchase wine from Wollersheim winery visit https://www.wollersheim.com/.