Rain hurting winery numbers, but the grapes could rebound

WASHINGTON — The rain isn’t just dampening the weekend across the area — it’s also affecting the bottom line at some Virginia’s wineries.

Things are a bit soggy at Lost Creek Winery in Loudoun County where owner Todd Henkle is fighting to see his 16 acres of young grapes through to harvest.

“In the vineyard, we’re managing a  lot of issues that revolve around disease or pests, and a lot of rain just exacerbates that problem,” Henkle said.

But if a lot of rain must fall, better now than in September, he said, because the grapes still have time to recover.

“In terms of its impact on the wine, it’s just too early to tell,” Henkle said.

That said, without the picnic weather that many associate with a perfect day to head to the country, winery visitors have dropped off.

“What you find is when the rain does pass you see a pop. The people who thought they were going to go in May but didn’t will also go in June,” said Annette Boyd with the Virginia Wine Board.

Oftentimes, vintners have seen a 20 percent bump in visitors following a slow month, so visitation usually averages out, Boyd said.

With plenty of seating a quiet winery, Boyd said visitors can enjoy a more attentive tasting experience, if they want to go when the weather isn’t sunny.

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