Hurricane Earl, which quickly lost its Big Wind status once it started up the East Coast, pushed a little rain and wind here and there on Friday, but the doomsayers on TV, radio and the ‘Net who prophesied that Long Island’s grape growers would be badly harmed just as the harvest was about to begin were wrong.
Meanwhile, up in the Finger Lakes, grape harvesting has been going on since late last month in what looks to be an excellent year for fruit quality and, by projection, a good year for many wines.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported that “Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapes for sparkling wines have been picked already, as have some table grapes, said Hans Walter-Peterson, a viticulture extension specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension who is based in Penn Yan, Yates County.
“ ‘I was talking to a couple of veteran winemakers and they don’t ever remember picking in August,’ he said.
“Art Hunt, owner of Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport, on Keuka Lake, said that around the region, the harvest of some varieties started three weeks early, on August 24. ‘We’ve had plenty of moisture, plenty of sunshine, and the quality appears to be excellent. … The grapes reached their full potential in virtually every variety’.”
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