Hot, Dry Summer in Eastern Vineyards offer near ideal conditions…a 'rare treat' for US & Canadian winemakers

on 20/09/10 at 2:07 pm


Sorting Frontenac grapes at Park Farm Winery in Bankston, Iowa. Upper Midwest grapegrowers faced more challenging conditions than the Atlantic seaboard states.

It’s been a hot and dry summer across much of the East, and where last year’s grapegrowing problems came from too much rain, this summer it has been too much heat. As Mark Chien, Pennsylvania Viticulture Extension Educator, noted in a recent newsletter, in 2009 southeastern Pennsylvania had one day over 90° but in 2010 there were more than 50 days over 90°.

The result has been a harvest that is much earlier than normal, by two to three weeks. According to Chien, “It is rare [in Pennsylvania] when harvest decisions are not driven by negative quality variables such as rain, disease, frost, etc. So far this year winemakers have been able to pick when they think the grapes are ready, a rare treat in the East.”

Below are details from five eastern wine-growing regions…

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