In the vineyard, we are always subject to the whims of mother nature. It is true, that we can sometimes outwit her, by irrigating when it doesn’t rain, or covering the vines with netting to deter the birds. But there are times that we must accept her dominance over us with grace.
This fall was particularly wet. As as a result, botrytis bunch rot has settled into the Traminette and Vidal grapes. Botrytis rot can affect the grape in two ways. The first, which is the result of wet conditions, results in the loss of grapes. The second, called “noble rot,” occurs when dry conditions are followed by wet. This actually can produce distinctive sweet wines. The fungus removes water from the grapes and concentrates the sugars, acids, and minerals. Noble rot has settled into some of our vineyards.
But it is like a double edged sword. While it can impart desirable qualities to the wine, it does so at the cost of a depleted harvest. So while we are excited that the Traminette and Vidal wines this year may be exceptional, the vintages will be somewhat limited. But don’t worry, other grape varieties, like Chambourcin, have done really well, and we anticipate having a good harvest overall.