Wineries scramble to harvest before storms

Wineries scramble to harvest before storms

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 10:00 AM

DAYTON, Ore. -- The race is on at many vineyards across the Willamette Valley to pick as many grapes as possible before storms move in and potentially do some serious damage.

At Archery Summit Winery in Dayton, crews armed themselves with buckets and clippers as they raced to get as many grape clusters off the vines as they could.

Their goal was to pick about half the vineyard before the soaking rains move in this weekend.

What would normally take about three days, crews will do in about a day and a half. The rest of the grapes will be picked next week following the storms.

Vineyard manager Leigh Bartholomew is concerned too much rain can ruin some of the fruit.

“The concern is: If the grapes are ripe, they get more fragile," Bartholomew said. "The more fragile they get as the water comes and gets soaked up into the plants--either through the skins or up through the plants--the berries can split open and you don't want that to happen.”

While they expect to lose a small percentage of their grapes, winemakers say those that make it will produce some great pinot noirs, due in part to the early start to the growing season.

The grapes have had a long time on the vines, which means they'll make crisp, fruity, flavorful wines.

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