Grapes Affected by the Drought

You can add grapes to the growing list of crops affected by the drought. Vineyards and wineries across the region are experiencing a shortage of grapes after April's freeze and now the dry, hot weather.

Grapes are the lifeblood at Long Hollow Winery. However, because of fluctuating weather conditions, grapes are few and far between.

"The April freeze began the situation. There was a chance maybe for some recovery, but with the drought we've had the grape season is pretty well wiped out," owner, Stu Phillips said.

Now wineries are searching for grapes to make their wine.

In Tennessee, wineries are required to use a certain percentage of
in-state grapes.

However, with the lack of fruit this year, there's a waiver that allows wineries to get more grapes from other states.

"A lot of the wine that is made over the next 12 months or so in Tennessee will be from grapes from outside the state," Phillips said.

Phillips is beginning his own vineyard.

So far it's bypassed the current crisis, but if rain doesn't come soon, it may not miss the next one.

"We need the rain, no matter what stage of the vineyard business you're in it looks like I might be starting over there too," Phillips said.

Even if Phillips has to start over, he said somehow everything has a way of working itself out.

"When you get knocked down, you get up and lick your wounds and go on and pray for the best," Phillips said.