The 2011 Grape Harvest is well under way in the Finger Lakes vineyards along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. “After a “normal” winter, meaning little or no fruiting bud damage we encountered one of the wettest Springs in recent history says Gene Pierce of Knapp/Glenora Wineries. This actually turned out to be fortunate as the soils in the vineyards had sufficient moisture to sustain the vines during the late June/July time period when we received almost no rainfall. Once again things (the weather) returned to “normal” in the month of August meaning the temperature and rainfall were what is normally expected during this period. As the final steps towards harvest approached rain became our nemesis again. The rainy days and spotty showers continued giving us a few issues to contend with”.
A weekly publication is produced highlighting the harvest through out New York State called Veraison to Harvest. Hans Walter Peterson gives a vivid report about the Finger Lakes, here are some of his comments. “Some new varieties starting to get pulled out of vineyards this week have included Traminette, Lemberger, and some of the first Riesling loads of 2011. Fruit chemistry results suggest that berries are still holding a lot of water in them, as brix and acid numbers seem to be a bit “diluted”. With warmer and drier weather forecast for the next several days, some growers may decide to wait to harvest for a little bit to see if some of that water comes back out of the fruit. Others will probably jump at the chance to get fruit off of the vines while the sun shines. Concord crops are still looking good for most growers, with yields above normal for the most part, thanks at least to some extent to how juicy the fruit is right now. Harvest bins look like giant bowls of Concord soup”.
A good dose of sunshine is what we need here in the Finger Lakes and as one of my wine colleagues said a sun dance would be much more appropriate.
Due to the terrible flooding that took place in the Binghamton and Owego areas the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail sympathized for their southern tier customers and fellow businesses. We felt as an organization it was important to donate to the American Red Cross /Flood Relief in their behalf. Every year since 1998, we have sponsored at Taughannock Falls State Park, a series of summer concerts on Saturday nights. We have taken the amount procured from this past year’s concert of $2,300.00 and contributed to this most worthy cause. The people of Binghamton represent one of our largest markets and we wish to thank them for all their support.
New on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is our Online Store. Visit our website www.cayugawinetrail.com and then click on our NEW Store Button in the far right hand corner. Here we have a collection of Cayuga Lake Wine Trail merchandise for your buying pleasure. Glasses, T-shirts and much more.
The first event for the month of October takes place at Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery on Saturday October 1st. “Experience the Harvest Crush” event. With harvest in full swing join them for exciting demonstrations of harvesting equipment. Watch grapes being pressed and enjoy a fresh sample of Chardonnay juice. Live music by the foot stompin band of Dam Dogs. Pizzas by the Copper Oven, Lively Run Goat Cheese and wooly goodies from Cabin View Alpacas to keep you warm. www.cayugaridgewinery.com
For more information on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail check out our website www.cayugawinetrail.com
Cathy M. Millspaugh is Executive Director Cayuga Lake Wine Trail
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