Pressure : 30.19 in
Dewpoint : 48.0 °
Wind : Southeast
Grape crops benefit from high heat
We are hearing plenty about the drought and its effects on area crops, including corn and soybeans, but for one crop imparticular, this heat may actually be a good thing.
When it comes to the science of vineyards, heat is actually a good thing.
In fact, the heat translates into sugar production and sugar production translates into potential alcohol.
It's harvest time at Superior Estates Winery
"We start early in the morning, we start before daylight," said Randy Meyer.
And they're also starting about a month earlier
"I think that's typical of a lot of crops that you see around we've hearing that everywhere, that everything is ahead," Meyer said.
But unlike a lot of those other crops, this is actually a good year for grapes.
"So far it looks like it's going to be an excellent vintage form because of the heat," said Meyer.
"We need the heat because heat translates into sugar production, and sugar production translates into potential alcohol," said Dominic Burke.
And why heat, well more heat means more sunshine in conjunction with water, carbon dioxide, and chlorofold in the leaves, the more potential sugar production is created, which makes a sweeter grape.
"The better quality of the fruit, which translates into better quality of wine in the bottle," Burke said.
Heat may create sweeter grapes, but it also means they have to be watered more.
"We've irrigated probably four to five times more this year than a normal year," said Burke.
Combine that with the pruning of the vines, there's also more quantity of grapes.
"Every year we prune the vineyard at the end of the season, which gives us a balance between vegetative growth and potential cluster growth on the vine," said Burke.
Once those grapes are harvested, it's not long before they pressed and their juices begin making wine.
"So far so good, we have our fingers crossed on the actual wines, but we think they're going to be excellent," said Burke.
The grapes grown in Nebraska are primarily French-American hybrids.
The grapes being harvested right now are for white wines, red grapes will be ready for harvest in about 2 weeks.
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