Wineries Prepare For Harvest Season

9 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, August 31 2010 Aug 31, 2010 Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:16:54 PM CDT August 31, 2010 in News
HERMANN - Missouri's wineries are closing out a growing season marked by hot and humid weather with a harvest that could be marred by rain.

Most of the state's bigger wineries have already harvested their most sensitive grapes, doing this at night with mechanical harvesters.

However, many small wineries pick their grapes by hand, and they risk making a wine that will have a different taste than consumers would expect.

"If you get too much rain at the end of the season, the wine's going to be thin and watery," says Luke Jasper, a wine consultant at Hy-Vee Liquors in Columbia.

Some winemakers, though, say extra rain this week could be a good thing for grape varieties that still need time to ripen.

"Some of the lighter varieties, it'll do them some good," said Jon Held, general manager of Stone Hill Winery. "The ground's pretty dry and we could use a little moisture right now."

Missouri's wineries produced almost 900,000 gallons of wine in 2008, the last year in which statistics were available.

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