Many wineries in Indiana are on track to have one of the best growing seasons on record, but vineyard owners are not popping their corks in celebration just yet.
Having a continental climate can make Indiana’s growing seasons unpredictable, and it is still a month until harvest.
“I am not saying it is a not a good place to grow grapes,” says Oliver Winery downtown manager Drew Kincius. “I think it allows us to use a little bit more creativity and we have to able to adapt easier because of the fact we can’t just assume it’s going to be a particular growing season. That would be great if we knew it was going to be the same temperature year around.”
But Purdue University Professor of Horticulture Bruce Bordelon say this year’s weather has been unusually consistent – sunny days followed by cool nights.
“Years like this year when we are really having this nice cool and moist growing season, especially here in the last few weeks. It looks like continuing on for the next couple of weeks,” he says. “We are going to have what we consider ideal conditions for fruit quality.”
Butler Winery owner Jim Butler has been growing grapes in Indiana since 1992. He says he is on track to have his best season ever.
“With a season like this where we get the longer option for ripening where we don’t have the super hot temperatures,” says Butler. “We don’t have a hurricane coming up from the Gulf as of yet, there’s not a rush to pick the grapes, so we can let them hang. We can develop the flavors we want.”
The mild weather needs to continue into harvesting season which is still about a month away. Bordelon says then growers will be able to pick the grapes while their at their peak and have the perfect sugar and acid balance.