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Heavy rain and extreme heat making it harder for vineyards to grow some types of grapes

Heavy rain and extreme heat making it harder for vineyards to grow some types of grapes (WKEF/WRGT)

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Heavy rain and heat may have an impact on the next time you stop to pick up a bottle of wine, with vineyards especially impacted by the extreme weather.

FOX 45's Rachel Aragon went to Kennedy Vineyard to see the impact, and found that she was offered a true taste of the Midwest.

"We're all about Ohio wines," Louisa Kennedy said. "We really try to stay with the Ohio grapes, so that's kind of our theme."

For Louisa and her husband John, that means they also get a taste of true Ohio spring.

"We had no spring," she said. "So we had a lot of rain, and then a lot of heat, and it was hot and humid, so that really doesn't do well for the grapes."

The Chambourcin grapes were especially impacted. The Kennedy's spray for Black rot, but the constant rain has washed most of it away.

"If it starts, it's very vigorous and it's hard to control," Louisa explained. "So once it's on your grapes and on your leaves, it just continues to go."

Fortunately, the concord grapes have been able to bear the heat a little bit better, which she said is due to them being a little bit more hardy for the weather.

The Kennedy's offer a little bit of something for everyone's palette, but they don't plan on using grapes outside of the region to make up for the crazy heat and humidity.

"Some people don't understand that wine can come from the Midwest and be really good," Louisa said.

They're banking on the concord grapes to get them through this season, but Ohio's unpredictable weather is also why they're proud to keep everything local.

"Show them the process," Louisa said. "Teach them a little something, and just have a place for people to unwind."

Kennedy Vineyard said a cool spring and then a gradual, warm transition in to summer is the pest in order to pick the perfect grapes in the fall.

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