Wet Summer Pushes Back Harvest for Central Virginia Wineries
Harvest at Veritas Vineyard and Winery
Winemakers are starting to harvest, after a troubling rainy season. Vineyard owners are staying optimistic despite timelines cut short. Even though some are experiencing weeks of setbacks, they are confident quality wines will be produced.
"This is definitely the first time I've ever picked in September with sauvignon blanc," said Emily Pelton, winemaker at Veritas.
Abnormally cool and wet weather this summer put a damper on the ripening of this year's harvest.
"This has definitely been a bizarre year. I kept going out and checking my sugars and checking my numbers and checking my sugars - even called around to my friends and was checking to make sure they had the same numbers," said Pelton.
"Every year is an entirely different story," said Dean Andrews, Pippin Hill proprietor.
Andrews is pleased that the rainfall has slowed down.
"It's been particularly good that we've had sun for the last few weeks because you really need that final sun push in order for the berries, for the grapes to start concentrating their sugar, adjust the pH and get it ready for harvest," said Andrews.
Despite the slow start and a shorter time frame to work with, both wineries are optimistic for quality vintages.
"I think in the end we will end up with higher production, better quality and on the red side - a better range of blends," said Andrews.
"With this ripening and this beautiful weather we've had, I think everything is going to be ready in the same time frame. So it is going to be a race to the finish this year," said Pelton.
The winemakers say they anticipate a very busy month ahead. Harvest season usually ends around late September or early October.
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