SPOKANE, Wash.--Shipping wine to family or friends is popular around the holiday season. The sub-freezing temperatures can affect some businesses in the industry. One local business has had to halt shipments altogether.
A winemaker said wine can freeze when the temperature gets too low. A sign outside Latah Creek Winery and Gift Shop read, “Ship soon to arrive by Christmas.”
Winemaker and owner of Latah Creek Winery Mike Conway said he keeps close watch of the temperatures across the country.
“If this wine freezes, and it's got about 12% alcohol, which means it's going to freeze at about 10 or eleven degrees…If it freezes, it's going to form ice and the ice is going to pop the cork out of the bottle and then when it thaws, all of the content will leak out,” said Conway.
Bitter cold temperatures in Spokane and places like Montana where Conway’s wine shipments pass through have forced him to freeze shipment of his goods to the East Coast.
“We know that UPS trains go up through Montana and until those temperatures get up into the double digits, we are not shipping to the east at all,” said Conway.
Conway said he can still ship South down to Texas, Arizona and California where his wine bottles will not be exposed to the extreme cold en route.
“There are all those people that want to make sure something is there by Christmas... this year, I am not sure that's going to happen unfortunately,” said Conway. “It's a very short holiday season, so we tell people it's nice to receive a gift after Christmas,” added Conway.
Conway hopes to resume shipment of his wine on Monday. Several other wineries share similar concerns about the cold streak.