Grape farmers in Lake, Ashtabula counties trying out giant wind machine to curb frost

GENEVA, Ohio - To help curb the effects of the late-May frost expected overnight, grape farmers in Lake and Ashtabula counties are testing a giant solution.

Gene Sigel, the vineyard manager for Debonne Vineyards and South River Winery, told NewsChannel5 he's trying a 40-foot tall wind machine that may keep the frost from killing his plants.

Sigel said before this year, the latest frost he had seen in 20 years of farming was May 20, 2002.

"I thought this was over with, but we never underestimate Mother Nature. We are ready whatever comes. I have been worried about the May 24 full moon for months, and apparently it was for good reason. Full moons cause clearing and calm winds," said Sigel.

The farm crews will be out at midnight to get everything going, which will include starting engines and building fires.

According to Sigel, last year's grapes and apples were nonexistent after 15 nights of frost in April.

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