Grape growers will suspend harvest for a few days after heavy rains last week plus a smattering of hail and sleet over the weekend. There’s no serious damage reported but the fruit has soaked up extra water.
A few sunny days forecast this week ought to give the grapes a chance to dry out. And that will bring back good flavors in the fruit.
“We work all summer to grow really beautiful flavors in the grapes and the rain will actually dilute those flavors and dilute the sugars a bit,” says Charlie Edson of Bel Lago Vinyard in Leelanau County.
It’s a good thing the weather was cool otherwise there could have been problems with mold and fungus.
Now with seasonal temperatures returning there may be time for a more leisurely harvest.
“So we’re waiting for sunshine, for warmth, for dry conditions and I think everything will fall into place with the flavor and the sugars,” says Bernd Croissant, winemaker at Chateau Grand Traverse on Old Mission Peninsula.
Because of the warmer weather overall this year, grapes are ripening two to three weeks ahead of schedule.