Virginia: Since Donald Trump purchased a vineyard in VA recently, it’s been getting a ton of publicity – unfortunately the early reports indicate that they’ve got some problems. Recent rains could be diluting the 2011 vintage of Virginia wines. Excessive rain can cause grapes to swell with water and dilute the juice used to make wine. Keswick Vineyards has had more than 12 inches of rain in the last week and a half.
New York: They’ve certainly had a “roller coaster” in 2011. They had an unusually wet spring which gave way for some parts of NY to arid conditions over the summer. Then, depending on where you were located, you got drenched by Tropical Storm Irene. 2010 was a great year for Vineyards in NY, and I’m sure for some, if not most, 2011 will be a good year too.
Oregon: The Oregon Wine Board surveyed a number of Oregon wine growers and found that vintners are optimistic about the 2011 vintage. They say the warm late summer days and the lack of precipitation over the last two months has buoyed their confidence. Growers say they’ve caught up from a late spring start and could have the largest yield since the early 2000′s. Harvest is expected to get under way in mid-October.
Italy: Heat at the end of August caused much of Italy to be forced to harvest early. The severe heat and drought in the second part of August, caused plant stress that greatly lowered yields. The Italians also pulled up of over 9000ha this year to reduce overall wine production. Because of the early harvest, and the reduced number of plants, the 2011 harvest is expected to be 10-25% down in terms of quantity.
‘The Italian 2011 Harvest will probably be at an all-time low’ in terms of quantity, according to harvest reports just released by UIV (Unione Italiana Vini) and ISMEA (Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare).
France: They have their own traditions and rules – which have not been followed this year. Traditionally, the associations of vintners in a wine region set an official start to the harvest with “la levée du ban des vendanges” or the end to the harvest ban, which has its traces in the Middle Ages. The ban allowed individual wine growers to benefit from the combined wisdom of a region in setting the harvest date, usually 100 days after the first flowering in the vineyards. For the past few years, it has not been upheld in all regions.
A dry spring, a wet start to summer, which has eased into more clement seasonal conditions and warm temperatures persuaded some vintners to start harvesting in late August, while others have bided their time, measuring grape maturity with modern science and old-fashioned chewing and tasting.
California: We are just beginning our harvest seasons here. Typically the Sparkling wines grapes are picked first, and then it progresses to the larger reds. 2011 is expected to be a Good Harvest for California, Napa Valley Wineries, and Sonoma Vineyards.