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Dry Weather Hurts Local Vineyards

Dry Spell Impacts Vineyards

FINGERLAKES REGION (WENY) -- This summer's dry weather is impacting some Fingerlakes wine makers. Grapes depend on water to get nutrients and to grow.  "Water carries the nutrition into the vine," says Fox Run Vineyards owner, Scott Osborn.  "When you get adequate water, your vines are healthy and they will give you good fruit flavors."

This summer has been hot and dry, so many local vineyards aren't getting enough water.  Warm weather and sunshine are also critical, according to David Stamp, owner of Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen.  "The warmth and sunshine will help the grape ripen its fruit, but if it doesn't have water then it can't function properly," says Stamp.

While it's not ideal weather, too much moisture can also cause its own set of problems.  Wine makers say steady rainfall can cause mold and disease growth among the grape vines.

For now, they're hoping for more rain. Both Stamp and Osborn say the rest of the summer could ideally include one or two nights of rainfall a week, with plenty of sunshine during the day to promote healthy grapes. But working with Mother Nature means expecting the unexpected, so they'll be patient and hope for a strong end of the season.

"At this point we're quite pleased, but if a rainstorm came our way, you're not going to see us say no," says Stamp with a smile.