Excessive rain may impact late-harvesting wine grapes

Excessive rain may impact late-harvesting wine grapes
What the excessive rain means for late harvesting wine grapes (Source: wvir)

AFTON, Va. (WVIR) - With the late frosts in April and May, and up to four-times-more-than-average rainfall in the last 30 days 2020 has been a tough year for grapes in central Virginia.

Rains dilute the sugars in grapes through the skins and stem. The rains also give increased vigour to the vines, so they grow like crazy and can give the grapes unripe cabbage flavors.

“With good management we are hopeful. We have got some lovely fruit still out there, and we’ll look after it. And 2020, well, we will still produce good wine.” Veritas Vineyards and Winery Vineyard Manager William Tonkins said.

Veritas Vineyards and Winery says it combats the excessive rain by planting on steep, well-drained soils, and some serious canopy management. Hedging three times a year to stop growth, and leaf removal around the fruit zone to increase air circulation and let the sunlight in also help clusters dry off quickly.

Tonkins says he is confident that if they don’t see much more rain in the next month, then the grapes will be fine for harvest. The last of the grapes will be harvested in late September or early October

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