Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
With this year’s conditions cooler and wetter than the banner year of 2012, Niagara’s grape crop needs to stay on the vine a bit longer to reach full maturity, say researchers at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).
But optimism remains high for a strong vintage this fall.
“Based on preliminary data, the harvest will be later than last year and more typical for an Ontario vintage,” says CCOVI viticulturalist Jim Willwerth. “As a result, we will likely have great quality for our core cool climate varieties due to slower but steady maturation and greater flavour development.”
Tracking the maturity of grapes across the Niagara Peninsula is the focus of CCOVI’s popular preharvest monitoring program that launched for its fourth harvest season this week. The program, run by Willwerth, helps winemakers and grape growers to make informed harvest decisions.
“No two vintages are alike,” Willwerth says. “The 2013 crop is healthy and slightly behind some of our hotter and drier vintages in terms of general maturity.”