Winemakers worry about unseasonably warm weather

ice-wine

St. David’s, Ontario, Canada (WIVB)- “Every wine should have a story,” said Marty Werner, an Ontario-based winemaker.

The story for the wines made from the grapes growing at Ravine Vineyards this fall will have a different story than those in previous years.

“It does change year to year and playing defense to the weather is probably my toughest task,” said Werner.

The forecasted cooler temps are a welcome sight for winemakers who say they’ve been worrying about the warm weather we’ve been having — saying it’s making them concerned about crops and business.

“The vines do need sort of an acclimatation period before they can withstand cold temperates for winter,” said the winemaker. “If we have no cold weather and all of a sudden it drops really quickly there can be vine damage.”

And vine damage would impact the yield.

Werner says weather dictates wine flavor too, especially for ice wines which usually require the grapes are picked right after peaking then freezing.

“Some freezing and thawing is okay but it certainly makes for a slightly different set of flavors.”

Warm weather isn’t bad for all grape varieties though. Werner says their reds will have bigger, bolder flavors after having a long, dry summer.

While he remains concerned about the vines during this weather, he tries to think about the few benefits- like not picking grapes in a foot or more of snow- while he’s in the field on a warm, sunny mid-November day.

“We have longer time in the field and get to make decisions on the offensive rather than the defensive.”

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