Wollersheim Winery says grapes “didn’t stand a chance” this winter

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SAUK CITY (AP) — The severe winter has resulted in significant crop losses for Wisconsin’s largest winery.

Wollersheim Winery owner Phillipe Coquard says he’s used to Wisconsin winters, but his grape crop didn’t stand a chance against this year’s record-breaking stretch of below zero temperatures. Coquard says Wollersheim will likely lose 30 to 50 percent of its crop.

When Coquard surveyed the winery’s grape buds in January, a majority were black inside and already dead.

In 2012, the grapes bloomed ahead of schedule, but a machine named the Frost Dragon saved most of them from a spring frost. Coquard lost 10 percent of his crop then.

He says the damaged grapes will impact the popular Domaine du Sac wine and new brandy the winery is releasing this weekend for the second time.

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