Hot, dry weather good for Ontario grapes, wine
Given the quality of 2016's crop, the year should be a good one for winemakers
"We're excited, we're looking forward to a good crop," Ontario Grape Growers' Association chair Matthias Oppenlaender said. "The dry conditions are very good for the quality of the grapes out there."
"Grapes are actually deep rooters, so they can withstand a lot more of the dry conditions. We prefer a drier season. It helps us."
Oppenlaender, who has been growing grapes since 1984 at Huebel Grapes Estates in Queenston, Ont., said that while the size of this year's crop is average, the hot, dry conditions has allowed the vines to grow better quality fruit, fit for eating or making wine.
"The sugar content usually comes in the grapes and especially in the reds. That's what makes the cellar reds, the really big reds, deep reds that the consumer is looking for," he said.
Oppenlaender said farmers are now looking forward to harvest, which is likely to begin sometime in the next couple of weeks.