Sunday October 22nd, 2017 11:30AM

Local wine harvest may be difficult if rain continues

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HELEN - Local vintners are hoping for a few weeks of dry weather to ensure a decent grape harvest this year. It's nearing a critical stage when grapes ripen, locking in sugars and flavors.

Steve Gibson, general manager of the Habersham Winery in Helen, said Georgia has gotten more rain than vineyards like to see.

"It presents more challenges in the vineyards when that does happen," said Gibson. "The mildews and molds and things like that become more significant with the amount of moisture that we've had so it increases our cost of maintaining the vineyard."

Gibson said most of the grapes will be harvested in August and September, and dryer weather will help make the harvest a good one. Too much rain not only can cause diseases, but can also dilute concentrate.

"The harvest is almost always determined by Mother Nature," said Gibson. "Hopefully, Mother Nature gave us some really good grapes."
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