SPRINGFIELD (KPTM)- The drought isn't just strangling corn and wheat crops. Wine vineyards, relatively new to the Midwest, are feeling the heat as well. That's why it may be harder to find your favorite bottle of wine next year.
"There's actually a big shortage of grapes in Nebraska this year because this drought is so widespread, everybody's production is down," said Jim Shaw, owner of Soaring Wings Vineyard in Springfield.
For Shaw, his problems started early.
"What really hit us probably the hardest was the really early hot spring where it put the vines ahead about a month," said Shaw.
Those problems carried over into the summer.
"With temperatures over 90 degrees, the flowers don't want to set fruit properly. So some of our varieties that were setting fruit during some of those particularly hot days did not set much fruit," said Shaw.
"We had a loss of probably about 70% on those varieties," said Shaw.
Shaw said the heat has put so much stress on the grape vines, that it's hard for the water to travel from the root to the crop.
"We have some dying back of some of the grape clusters as we get closer to harvest," said Shaw.
The hot weather, however, does have its perks.
"They say the best wine is made in drought years and there's some truth to that because the berries are smaller and it concentrates the flavors right underneath the skin. So we have a higher skin to juice ratio and that makes for better wine…Problem is if you don't bring in any grapes in because you've lost the entire crop and you can't make really good wine, you can't make very large quantity of very good wine," said Shaw.
Shaw says there is one silver-lining in all this.
"We're usually starting harvest the first weekend in august, but we're already two-thirds of the way through harvest already. And I usually miss a lot of husker games, but now I'm going to watch almost all the husker games," he said."
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