by SUSAN MANN
This summer’s hot weather is contributing to what’s shaping up to be a ‘super’ vintage for the grape crop, says a spokesperson for Grape Growers of Ontario.
The lack of rain hasn’t decimated grapes the way it has other crops in some parts of Ontario, including hay, corn, vegetables and fruit, says CEO Debbie Zimmerman. “The drought isn’t helpful to us either but it’s not critical at this point.”
Some of the young vineyards in areas where irrigation isn’t available are facing challenges but as long as some rain arrives “we’ll be okay,” she says, also noting that harvest this year will begin very early.
Everything looks great and it’s going to be a great crop, she says.
Ontario farmers normally grow 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of grapes for wine production annually. In 2011, the tonnage was 62,028 with a farm gate value of $77.4 million, according to the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario website. BF