Page 20 - Color Tour 2018
P. 20

Established county vineyards bene ted from a warm, dry summer.
leelanau color tour 2018
Little Rain, Lovely Vintage
County vines, like their owners, have deep roots in Leelanau
Cherries, apples and sweet corn were all hurt to some extent by a dry summer on the Leelanau Peninsula.
Grapes, on the other hand, enjoyed the sun.
David Hill, winemaker at Leelanau Wine Cellars in Omena, says that Leelanau’s long-estab- lished grape vines, some of which were planted decades ago, can with- stand — indeed, thrive during — dry periods,
“We’re on track to have a banner year with a large crop load and con- centrated attributes due to low water-to-solid ratio,” Hill said. “The hot days and warm nights are
leading to extreme vigor and growth in the vines. The dryness is concen- trating what’s in the berries and we’re looking at the potential for a high-quality harvest.”
Though the vines could have used some rain in August, Paolo Sabbatini, associate professor of viticulture at Michigan State University, explains that water stress mostly affects newer vines that aren’t deep-rooted.
In fact, a low water table can actually help established vines grow grapes that are turned into a fantastic vintage.
“The warm and dry summer in northwest Michigan is immensely

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