A Word from the Wine Trail by Vickie & Joe Greff of Blue Mountain Vineyards

BM_JoeVickieIt’s hard to believe it’s already time for harvest and kids have gone back to school. It’s been a challenging year as a vineyard, to say the least.

At the start of the 2015 season, we were in rough shape due to the past two severe winters that affected the survival of the vines and bud count, which produces the fruit. This was followed by a lot of rain, especially during bud set (when the flowers are beginning to turn into grapes) in mid-May, beginning of June which makes the vines more susceptible to disease such as powdery mildew and black rot.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that it hasn’t really rained much since and that means positive things for the vineyard! The warmer, sunny weather has allowed the grapes to ripen and produce decent sugar levels. It’s still a little early in the harvest, but acidity, pH, and sugar levels are coming in at very good numbers which supports good quality wine. We’ll know more next week when we pick Merlot and Shiraz.

As most farmers in Pennsylvania know, during this time in the season, we’re always trying to keep a step ahead of the “reindeer” and birds. Our trusted “woofer” (our Rottweiler named Vidal) is doing all he can to keep these little rascals out of the vineyard and eating the grapes. Wish him good luck!