Vintners predicting smaller grape crop

on 06/10/10 at 12:47 pm

Wine

Photo: KENT PORTER / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Kris Heidebrink of Rochioli Vineyards and Winery on Tuesday looks for bad bunches of chardonnay grapes, an early step in the harvest sorting process.

Even at 76-years-old, Joe Rochioli wakes at midnight to oversee the harvesters picking grapes from his vines in the pre-dawn darkness. It’s a labor of love he’s enjoyed since he started picking grapes as a boy in his father’s fields.

But in all his years among the vines, Rochioli has never seen a crop like this. A cool summer followed by two intense heat waves took a toll on his rolling rows of chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes.

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