Cool weather negatively affects wine crops
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:56:21 GMT —
This summer has been on the cooler side, but the colder than average temperatures have impacted some northern Michigan farmers.
Two different wineries agreed that they are missing two of the same things this summer, warmth and sun.
"It's been a challenge, we certainly want to have warm sunny days," says Chateau Chantal winemaker Mark Johnson.
With this summer's lack of heat, coupled of course with the harsh winter, northern Michigan vineyards could be hurting this harvest.
"Were at 50 percent of where we should be and if we don't get some heat soon we will not be harvesting very many grapes this year," says vineyard manager at 45 North Brian Grossnickle.
Fortunately, the bumper crop from last summer is saving them now.
"We had a forty percent increase so that allows us to balance out somewhat our lower crop this year it still is a bit of a financial hit but that's part of farming," says Johnson.
That bottle of wine won't cost any moreâ?¦the extra crop from last year is also keeping costs where they're at.
"We couldn't go from year to year and adjust the prices just based on the crop load it just wouldn't work," says Johnson.
So what effect does a cool summer night really have on the grapes?
"At approximately 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit a vine stops producing sugar and slows down the ripening process and like when last night temps hit 44 no then the vine has to reawaken up in the morning and start the process over again," says Grossnickle.
That could mean making changes in the long run.
"We will have to evaluate how we grow grapes up here, no heat and Iâ??m not sure what weâ??re going to do with all this green fruit," says Grossnickle.
While it's bad for the vines, it's been good for the taste testing lines.
"If itâ??s cool then people aren't out on the water and so people are more prone to be shopping so for our business side it's been a very good year," says Johnson.
Some of the best wines that will come out of this season are the Riesling and Chardonnay.
The wine from this year's harvest will be sold in 2015.