Early Grape Harvest Concerns Va. Winemakers

August 12, 2010

Drought conditions are causing some wine grape varieties in Virginia to ripen early, and that concerns growers.

Virginia Tech viticulturist Tony Wolf says prolonged dry conditions can reduce yields and change grape composition. Wines produced from grapes stressed by drought may be unbalanced and may not age well.

Vineyards in central Virginia harvested some grapes for sparkling wine and pinot gris in early August. Wolf says it's the earliest grape harvesting in memory.

Virginia's wine production is ranked fifth in the nation.

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