Give Now

Oliver Winery Uses Helicopter To Fight Off Frost

Oliver Winery brought in a helicopter to its Creekbend Vineyard to keep its grapes from freezing in Wednesday morning's frost.

A helicopter flew over Creekbend Vineyard north of Bloomington in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday as vineyard manager Bernie Parker looked on. It followed the same path, helping circulate the cool air and keep a cold air mass from harming the delicate fruit.

“There is a definite increase in the temperatures where they go and so we set them up with a pattern that can get them back to their starting point every 5 to 6 minutes,” Parker says.

Wine grapes are at risk because of the unusually warm temperatures this winter. The buds on the grapes broke early and with the cooler temperatures bearing down on South Central Indiana,  grape growers are being forced to scramble to protect their vineyards from frost.

By traveling the same path, the helicopter is able to pull warm air from the upper current levels and effectively raise the temperature in the vineyard.  Oliver Winery, the owners of Creekbend Vineyard is using the helicopter in addition to 2 tall fans that also circulate the air but can only cover about half of the crop.

Another frost is expected Wednesday night.

Sara Wittmeyer

Sara Wittmeyer is the News Bureau Chief for WFIU and WTIU. Sara has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served with KBIA at the University of Missouri, WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at WCPO News in Cincinnati.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Business & Economy Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook