Growing & Winemaking


Vintage 2011

January 2012
by Andrew Adams

    Summary: Please summarize the quality and quantity of the overall 2011 crop in your area. Don’t focus exclusively on highly selected lots that will compose reserve-type wines.
    Weather: Characterize the growing season weather, with emphasis on unusually good or bad weather around harvest.
    Pests/Diseases: Describe any unusual pest and/or disease pressure.
    Supply/Demand: Note changes in grape prices, demand and unusually high or low yields.
    Technology/Techniques: Describe any significant use of new tools, techniques and/or equipment that seriously impacted or improved harvest this year.
    Logistics: Note logistical challenges such as water shortages, tank space, labor availability, quarantines, etc.
    Varieties: Address the specific challenges and successes of major grape varieties or types.
Scary, glorious, challenging and excellent are all words that growers, winemakers and extension advisors across North America used to describe the 2011 winegrape harvest.

It was a time of extremes—from extremely cool weather in California to extreme drought in the Southwest, extreme precipitation in the East and an extreme bounty in Oregon. Each winegrowing region in the United States and Canada experienced a distinct growing season with its own merits and problems.

Wines & Vines
asked growers, academics and other experts to summarize the growing season and harvest in their areas to create this annual report.

Many regions experienced a cooler than normal growing season followed by ill-timed rains that increased pest and disease pressure. Some other challenges faced by nearly all winegrowing regions this year included Botrytis, labor shortages at the peak of picking and running out of tank space.

But while many tons of grapes were lost this year, a number of the professionals who responded to our survey indicated the grapes that were harvested have the potential to yield good wines.

We hope you find these reports useful. If your area was not included, and you’d like to contribute to the report next year, please email

Quality was great because of the lower sugars and high acidity. Yields averaged about three tons per acre.

Weather: Very trying due to a really cool spring and summer, but overall quality is going to be very good.

Supply/Demand: Grape prices are up slightly.

Varieties: Rainfall proved a little challenging for Petite Sirah and Sangiovese.

Jim Ryan
Estate manager, Concannon Vineyard

2011 provided many challenges. Weather extremes, frost, hail and rain during bud break and berry set resulted in extreme variability in yields. Depending on location, yields could range from normal to 50% down. Overall, yields appear to be down about 25%. Quality of fruit was normal to high, with good acidity levels due to the cooler than normal growing season.

Weather: 2011 was a tough year for weather. We had storms and frost events all spring. The growing season was cool with rains through May, and even hail on June 1. Then we had three inches of rain in early October.

Pests/Diseases: The late rains increased Botrytis pressure.

Supply/Demand: Low overall yields increased demand, helping to hold prices steady.

Logistics: Early in the season, labor supply was short. This improved as the season continued.

Chris Leamy
Winemaker, Terra d’Oro Winery

Overall quality for white and red varieties was good. For many varieties, flowering and fruit set were affected by cold and wet weather. Yields in our area were down about 20% for most growers.

Weather: Good winter and spring rains gave way to stretches of abnormally mild summer temperatures. Hotter weather finished the growing season. We had some rain during the harvest, which is unusual for Madera County.

Pests/Diseases: Cool, wet weather throughout bud break, shoot and cluster development meant that mildew prevention and management was tricky for some area growers.

Darin Peterson
Assistant winemaker and vineyard manager, Quady Winery

Quality was mixed. Heavy rains in early October caused some real challenges in winemaking. Selective picking and no-nonsense winemaking were the rules followed by most wineries.

Weather: First, it was late and cool during bud break and bloom. Many varieties were light to begin with. The growing season was cool. Everything was late, late, late.

Pests/Diseases: Heavy mildew pressure during the growing season, but most growers stayed ahead of any potential problems. Botrytis was a serious problem at harvest.

Supply/Demand: Supplies are tightening, so the market is much improved from last year. Bulk wines are moving well.

Varieties: Zinfandel is good. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were late and had Botrytis issues. Pinot Noir was mixed and Petite Sirah was seriously damaged. Everything else came in more or less OK.

Glenn McGourty
Wine grow ing and plant science advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

Despite all the travails, winemakers are pleased with the quality. We can’t wait to see how the wine turns out.

Weather: In Mariposa County, this was a very challenging and scary year. Spring was marked by frosts and even two inches of snow on green leaves in the upper elevations. Surprisingly, the crop came in at fair to excellent levels depending on location. 

Pests/Diseases: Powdery mildew caused some damage in a couple of blocks in Mariposa County, as the conditions were ideal for its development. Rains near harvest did not cause much rot, but they did cause the sugar to drop, which delayed harvest even further.

In Merced County, many were impressed by the amount of powdery mildew pressure. A lot of fungicides were applied this year to keep the crop clean.  Delayed harvest became frightful as fall rains approached. Some blocks were brought in with sugars a little low so we could avoid rain-induced bunch rot. It was an agonizing decision when to cut off water. No new exotic pests have been documented. Mites had to be watched carefully. By the time this report goes to press, we are hoping the small EGVM quarantine in the corner of the county will be lifted. (Ed. note: According to the Pest Exclusion department of the California Department of Agriculture, the quarantine was still in effect as of Dec. 19, 2011.)

Maxwell Norton
Farm advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

Overall quantity was down for most vineyards. Most of the reductions were weather-related due to cold temperatures and pre-harvest rain. In late April, frost caused severe damage to several vineyards in the interior areas and significantly lowered the overall yield potential for the region. The cool temperatures late in the season resulted in a slow ripening process and lower Brix levels at harvest.

Weather: Temperatures were cool the entire season with the lack of significant heat waves. Rain occurred during bloom and before harvest, causing reductions in yields due to mildew- and rot-related issues.

Pests/Diseases: Powdery mildew pressure was severe, and there was increased Botrytis bunch rot pressure due to rain prior to harvest.

Supply/Demand: Cold temperatures affected yields during bloom. Early season varieties such as Pinot Noir had greater reductions due to reduced fruit set.

Logistics: A quarantine area was formed for EGVM in Santa Cruz County.

Larry Bettiga
Viticulture farm advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

Growers faced challenging weather in this unseasonably cool and wet year. Cool temperatures and rain during bloom compromised fruit set, resulting in smaller than average yields. The cool summer that followed delayed harvest. Grapes were harvested at lower than normal sugars, although flavors matured at lower sugars.

Weather: Cool, wet spring weather and unusually cool summer temperatures. Areas of the county received up to 45 inches of rainfall (November 2010 to June 2011). October 2011 rains exacerbated fungal bunch rots.

Pests/Diseases: Growers continued to take an aggressive approach to managing the invasive European grapevine moth. Quarantine regulations were in effect countywide.

Supply/Demand: Yields were smaller than normal and attributed to reduced fruit set during the cool, wet spring.

Monica Cooper
Viticulture farm advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

Cool temperatures continued through much of the summer, with vine phenology lagging behind even the 2010 season, which was quite delayed. Late summer weather remained relatively cool, with crop ripening far behind normal schedules.

Weather: Throughout the first week of April, temperatures cooled significantly, and both counties witnessed one of the most severe frost events of the past several decades. Damage was observed in older vineyards that had not suffered significant frost damage in 30 or more years.

Pests/Diseases: Serious infections of powdery mildew were not unusual. Vine mealybug was found at several locations near Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County. Growers in that area will need to be on the lookout for incipient infestations so they can treat them before they become severe.

Varieties: The first significant rain of the fall occurred in early October, leading to substantial bunch rots in the most susceptible varieties such as Petite Sirah, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Bunch rot pressure was likely elevated at many sites as a consequence of the high Botrytis pressure in the spring. Some sites that experienced poor fruit set may have suffered less bunch rot as a result of having loose cluster architecture.

Mark Battany
Viticulture and soil farm advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

Yields were down for the second year, this time about 30% to 40%. Bunch rot was minimal, although summer bunch rot was above average in Zinfandel. Berry size and cluster set were variable, with fewer clusters. Colors, acids and flavors were excellent, similar to last year. Harvest began about 18 to 20 days behind long-term average, but most varieties caught up after mid-season. Harvest was finished by Nov. 1.

Weather: Rainfall ended June 5 with 25.9 total inches. Bud break was slightly delayed, with a cool, wet spring. The season was very cool with only two days above 100°F. West Lodi had a mild frost.

Pests/Diseases: High powdery mildew pressure, but scattered problems. Mites were very late and light. VMB is under control; no EGVM were trapped, but LBAM is spreading.

Supply/Demand: Prices are up slightly for Zinfandel, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Interest grows for Muscat-type grapes and new Mediterranean selections.

Technology/Techniques: LED lighting technology was used on some harvesters, and flash detente was used at a local winery. There is interest growing in high-wire cordon for machine-pruned vines.

Logistics: Regulatory costs are up, and labor is in short supply. Fuel and all input costs are up.

Varieties: Lodi recognition is growing for fruit quality and value wines for major varieties and new selections.

Paul Verdegaal
Farm advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

The 2011 season had an extremely light crop and severe disease pressure. For 10 days in May, maximum daily temperatures were lower than 70°F throughout the county, preventing fertilization and resulting in the loss of entire flower clusters. On average, the season was two weeks late. Depending on variety and location, fruit came in at lower sugar.

Weather: Mild temperatures throughout the summer delayed the start of harvest, and many vineyards were not picked prior to rain events in October, which caused Botrytis bunch rot to become even more severe.

Pests/Diseases: Damp weather caused Botrytis in June and bunch rot beginning in August. Wet canopies and high humidity resulted in significant crop loss.

Supply/Demand: Cool bloom-time temperatures resulted in a lighter crop in most regions, with some growers reporting record-low yields. Grape prices increased in 2011.

Logistics: The rush to get fruit in before the Oct. 3 rain filled winery tanks.

Rhonda Smith
Viticulture advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

The quality of the crop was high. The quantity was below average for many white winegrape varieties, and some reds had trouble reaching Brix targets.

Weather: A cold, wet spring preceded the coolest summer temperatures in many years, and the late harvest period witnessed two rain events. 2011 proved to be a difficult year to grow grapes.

Pests/Diseases: Higher than average mildew pressure.

Supply/Demand: Some price increases developed for both red and white varieties, and many growers reported lower than average yields. The market offered plenty of demand to move all our fruit.

Technology/Techniques: Greater use of wet mildew-control products.

Logistics: There were acute labor shortages and tank space issues at harvest.

Varieties: Chardonnay damaged by frost events.

Tim Waits
President, Clarksburg Wine Growers and Vintners Association

An unusually cool growing season yielded a crop that promises to be equal to or slightly above the 2010 harvest of 17,778 tons, which was down 11% from 2009. The 2011 season was successful despite the odds. Reports indicate that this year’s fruit exhibits balanced sugars, acids and phenolics, promising elegant wines low in alcohol but pleasing to the palate.

Weather: A late start to a cool season left vines waiting until late July for warmth. Steady accumulation of heat in the latter part of the season was followed by relatively dry conditions at harvest.

Pests/Diseases: Despite a late harvest, many growers learned from their experiences in 2010 and were prepared for potential depredation by wildlife.

Supply/Demand: Grape prices strengthened mildly in 2010 on a short crop, and demand, in step with the slightly larger crop of 2011, should help firm up those gains.

Varieties: Merlot and Chardonnay remain the province’s top-planted grapes, with Syrah touted as a rising star in the southern Okanagan Valley.

Peter Mitham
Northwest correspondent, Wines & Vines magazine

Idaho grapes took their time ripening, however the growing season was great once it started. Temperatures had good balance, and we have surpassed any issues nature tried to throw our way. We had no frost damage from last winter and no problems with powdery mildew. The quality looks good and perhaps even better than last year. As for quantity, it was down 10%-15% due to weather conditions.

Weather: A late and wet spring led to slow development, but record warm temperatures in August helped the vines progress. Fall had many hot days in September and a couple of rainstorms in October.

Pests/Diseases: There were no problems with powdery mildew due to newer pesticides.

Supply/Demand: We continue to have stable prices, normal demand and average to slightly lower yields.

Logistics: A compressed harvest cycle led to a lack of tank space at times.

Varieties: The red grapes are the size of small berries, which means that the color extraction will be good and wines will have higher alcohol and acid levels.

Moya Shatz Dolsby
Executive director, Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission

The 2011 harvest is expected to total between 41,000 and 45,000 tons. This is an increase of 25% or more from the 2010 harvest and a new record for Oregon. The quality of the vintage is expected to be excellent and compare favorably to the outstanding vintages of the past two decades, especially 1999. While harvest was late, it benefited from dry, sunny days late into the harvest period.

Weather: The growing season got off to a late start but made a dramatic recovery entering harvest. Mostl y sunny, warm and dry weather led to an excellent harvest period that continued into November.

Pests/Diseases: There were small amounts of Botrytis, but no serious incidents of disease and only modest issues with birds.

Supply/Demand: Grape prices fell toward the end of harvest as some wineries were limited in their capacities and could not bring in the record-high yields.

Technology/Techniques: There was some use of reverse osmosis to reduce water in the grapes and flash heating to rupture the skins.

Logistics: The shortage of tank space was the only logistical issue.

Varieties: Low Brix was the biggest challenge. Some late varieties faced challenges from ripening after frost in the Rogue Valley. It was a great year for whites.

Charles Humble
Director of marketing & communications, Oregon Wine Board

Thoughtful and experienced producers have the opportunity to produce some stellar wines. Outstanding color and textbook balance coupled with slightly lower than usual sugars have winemakers excited. The general feeling is that flavor development peaked at lower sugar levels, eliminating the problem of high alcohol at full ripeness. Yields were a mixed bag, as some areas produced better than normal yields, some none.

Weather: We had glorious weather in October and into November. Some areas had no hard frost through late November. The 2011 vintage proved once again that no two are alike and reaffirms why we do this crazy thing.

Logistics: Later than normal harvest meant a short time frame for picking and tight fermentor space.

Vicky Scharlau
Executive director, Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers

Wine grape quality was excellent this year due to minimal disease problems and great weather during ripening and harvest. Growers had the luxury of letting the grapes hang as long as they needed to develop their full potential. Managing bird predation was the biggest challenge for some growers. The warm 2011 growing season will produce some outstanding wines, especially reds.

Weather: The Midwest experienced a warm spring with above-average rainfall, then a much drier summer with record heat. The ripening period was warm with lower than normal rainfall, allowing long hang times.

Pests/Diseases: Anthracnose (leaf blight) has been more common in recent years, perhaps due to warmer temperatures.

Supply/Demand: Grape supply cannot meet winery demand, resulting in good prices. Yields were down for some growers who had difficulty controlling bird depredation.

Logistics: Labor availability is always a problem at harvest.

Varieties: Traminette continues to live up to its reputation as Indiana’s signature wine. More acres have been planted, and wineries report record sales.

Bruce Bordelon
Professor, Purdue University

Grape quality for 2011 ranged from very high to low. Quantity was down because of the extremely hot and dry weather. Late-season varieties were affected the most.

Weather: The growing season was a struggle. Lack of rain from the southwest to the northeast, with record heat of 112°F-plus made bringing the grapes to harvest difficult.

Supply/Demand: Price was up by a small percentage with low yields creating high demand.

Technology/Techniques: With the lack of rain, irrigation was a must. This may affect 2012 crop.

Varieties: Somerset Ridge Winery became the first winery in the nation to release Crimson Cabernet wine. Kansas has several acres of this winegrape planted.

Terry D. Turner
Member, Kansas Grape Growers & Winemakers

Vineyards produced high quantities, and several wineries left grapes on the vine to harvest later for ice wine. Early indications point to exceptional quality, partially due to 10 days of very warm weather in early October.

Weather: Cool weather early in the season, but lots of sun in July and August. Warm weather in early October led to substantial Brix increases at a critical time. A frost-free October also helped.

Supply/Demand: Demand continues to increase. Because of low yields in 2010, wineries had a hard time meeting demand; very high quantities in 2011 should help offset this.

Logistics: Some wineries worked overtime to free up tanks for the new vintage or bought more tanks.

Varieties: Nicely balanced wines, particularly whites.

Karel Bush
Promotion specialist, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council

Across the state, crop size was near or slightly below normal in 2011. Some areas in the western part of the state experienced a reduction due to severe winter temperatures in early February. Ripening conditions in the post-veraison period were near ideal with sunny, dry and moderate to warm temperatures, resulting in excellent quality and a somewhat early harvest.

Weather: The early season was characterized by frequent heavy rains and flooding in many parts of the state. The season turned very dry and hot leading into veraison. Temperatures moderated post-veraison.

Pests/Diseases: Spring disease pressure was high, particularly for phomopsis and black rot. Powdery mildew pressure also was high.

Supply/Demand: Grape prices overall have remained fairly steady for the past few years. Demand was improved from 2010, with most growers selling their fruit.

Varieties: All major vari eties performed well in 2011.

Andy Allen
Extension associate for viticulture, University of Missouri

The 2011 harvest proceeded without any unusual challenges. The lack of a sufficient monsoon season prolonged the already severe drought but led to a swift harvest. Compared with 2010, yields were down between 50% and 70%, with some areas having a complete crop failure due to a cold spell in February and several late frost events after bud break.

Weather: Unusually low temperatures during the third week of February caused significant damage in the otherwise mild growing areas in southern New Mexico. Late frosts caused additional damage and reduced yields.

Pest and disease pressure: The unusually dry weather caused some vineyard owners to forgo all fungicide applications.

Supply/Demand: Prices did not change significantly to reflect the lower production. This might be a function of the large 2010 crop and recovering demand.

Varieties: Varieties with late bud break are in high demand.

Bernd Maier
Viticulture extension specialist, New Mexico State University

Rainfall broke all records. Summer hailstorms missed vinifera plots, but yields are below normal everywhere. Harvesting in mucky ground was the most difficult growers had ever experienced. In the Ohio River Valley, the season was more normal, as were yields, with excellent quality predicted. 

Weather: In the north, it was excessively wet with hailstorms damaging juice vineyards. In the south, harvest was typical with much less rain and good harvest conditions.

Pests/Diseases: Northern vineyards with good cultural practices did well. Those who were not as careful saw crop losses of up to 50%. Southern Ohio vineyards experienced fairly typical pest and disease pressure.

Supply/Demand: Wineries are expanding dramatically, although finding enough Ohio fruit will again prove challenging during a difficult season.

Technology/Techniques: Every-row tiling for new plots continued. In the northern part of the state, wind machines are proliferating for temperature control; new vinifera plantings also are multiplying.

Logistics: Pruning in winter will be difficult up north. Deep ruts will hinder work.

Varieties: The Ohio Department of Agriculture Vine Grants program is experiencing much success. Swensen varietals are going into cold-climate areas.

Donniella Winchell
Executive director, Ohio Wine Producers Association

Oklahoma’s notoriously variable weather turned especially extreme this year, devastating vineyards and yields. Dr. Eric Stafne, viticulture specialist at Oklahoma State University, reported that the overall crop was poor in most of the state. In the northern half of Oklahoma, virtually all varieties were affected by the winter cold damage and excess heat. Central Oklahoma recorded more than 60 days of 100°F-plus temperatures and drought.

Weather: Harvest was earlier than usual due to the hot weather. Temperatures started to break around the first half of September, so late harvest was pleasant with few rain delays.

Pests/Diseases: Green June beetle infestations were less than normal, but bird depredation was extreme due to lack of available forage.

Demand/Supply: Due to weather events, Oklahoma suffered significant vine loss, and the subsequent harvest was 40% that of 2010.

Varieties: Chardonnay and Merlot were hit especially hard. Frontenac had little winter damage, but it did not respond well to the heat and suffered some loss of crop.

Harry Flynn, Ph.D.
Secretary, Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association

Growing season weather was the most severe in history, with extended periods of record-high temperatures and most regions under exceptional drought conditions for six months or longer. The combination of high temperatures and drought advanced ripening by about two weeks. Smaller clusters and berries reduced statewide yields by perhaps 50% but produced excellent fruit quality with no disease.

Weather: Portions of the Texoma AVA received a little more rain but still endured serious drought and record heat.

Pests/Diseases: Diseases were almost nonexistent and insect problems rare. Bird depredation increased in some areas due to lack of alternative food sources.

Supply/Demand: Grape prices remain strong and demand is stable. Statewide yields were down an estimated 50%.

Technology/Techniques: Water management has improved through widespread use of soil-moisture sensors. Rainwater collection increased.

Logistics: Localized water shortages occurred in both wells and surface water.

Varieties: Notably high quality for reds: Sangiovese, Mourvedre, Montepulciano, Dolcetto and Tempranillo, and whites: Muscat, Viognier, Vermentino, Roussanne and Blanc du Bois.

Edward Hellman
Professor and viticulture extension specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension

Crop quality was variable due largely to adverse weather conditions in late summer and early fall. Berry splitting and shriveling, fungus problems and late-season rots reduced crop sizes; sugar and pH levels dropped, and vegetal flavors were pronounced in some varieties. The best fruit seemed to come from open canopies with minimal secondary shoots, along with good soil drainage.

August weather started normally, but back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Lee produced the wettest month on record. Strong winds resulted in broken shoots, loosened posts, dislodged nets and damaged fruit.

Pest and disease pressure: Some downy mildew here and there and a little powdery mildew; lots of Botrytis and other rots. The heaviest bird damage in years started late but quickly made up for lost time. Bee activity was also heavy, especially for white varieties, but reports of stinkbugs were mixed and Japanese beetles were conspicuously absent.

Supply/Demand: Grape prices remain stable. Demand continues to grow, mostly due to the increasing number of wineries, now numbering more than 50. (Read about a new state winery in “Community-Based Direct Marketing” on page 154.) Most reliable varieties include hybrids Seyval, Vidal and Chambourcin, along with vinifera varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Jack Johnston
Maryland Grapevine editor, Maryland Grape Growers Alliance

Yields were above average for most varieties this year due to high bud fruitfulness and set. Sugar levels were low in many cases, as was acidity. Wet conditions close to harvest resulted in heavy Botrytis pressure in hybrid and vinifera varieties, which led to a lot of fruit being dropped or sorted out at the crush pad. Overall quality is still good, but everyone is glad this one is over.

Weather: After unusually warm and dry conditions in June, July and early August, rain became almost continuous in September and October, driving up disease pressure.

Botrytis became difficult to control in some cases due to many days with some rainfall as well as heavy rain events that resulted in fruit cracking.

Supply/Demand: Yields were higher than normal overall. Bulk hybrid and native varieties were 50% above average or more in many cases.

Technology/Techniques: Canopy manipulation in hybrid and vinifera blocks often had a significant impact on disease development at harvest.

Varieties: Evidence of bunch rot infections were found in varieties that normally aren’t considered susceptible to them (e.g., Vidal Blanc, Lemberger).

Hans Walter-Peterson
Viticulture extension specialist, Cornell University

Persistence and hard work were the hallmarks of 2011.

Weather: A rainy June led to minor outbreaks of downy mildew during bloom, affecting both clusters and canopy. This was mostly inconsequential as vines set large numbers of clusters this year. July was very warm and dry, propelling vine phenology. The region experienced abundant rainfall from August through October. A hurricane at the end of August weakened by the time it reached Long Island, morphing into Tropical Storm Irene. Most blocks endured the high winds and rain; ironically, over-the-row bird netting helped out a lot. However, within a week, the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee marched through the eastern U.S. The wet conditions precipitated cluster rot in white varieties—mainly sour rot with a little Botrytis. This led many growers to hand-harvest, allowing more careful sorting of fruit.

Varieties: Red varieties such as Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon were resilient through the challenging weather. Growers were able to hang fruit until fully ripe, though sorting was again necessary in some blocks. Brix and acids were moderate for both reds and whites, presenting fruit chemistry that was somewhat unfamiliar. However, flavors were well balanced and intense, making the winemakers very happy.

Alice Wise
Viticulturist, Cornell University Cooperative Extension

Vines performed well despite a cool, damp spring followed by a dry, hot July, which had growers scrambling to keep up with vineyard work to establish good canopy management and fruit exposure. Harvest season was a tale of two versions—frequent rainfall and cloudy periods with periods of bright sunshine but unusually cool temperatures. The cooler weather prolonged harvest into early November for late-ripening red cultivars. Vine acclimation from testing shows that good hardiness levels are developing. Some areas of Ontario (southwest region) were hit hard by mid-summer hailstorms, with some growers experiencing more than 75% crop loss.

Weather: The season began cold and damp with frequent rainfalls from bud break through to the end of the bloom period. A slower start resulted in many vineyard practices being delayed, and a mad burst of growth through late June and July made it a challenge to keep up with canopy management and pest control. Some growers noted breakdown of susceptible cultivars such as Pinot Noir in select blocks. Rain events resulted in many growers delivering higher quantities of fruit than anticipated.

Pests/Diseases: Powdery mildew continues to be the biggest pest problem, and many growers had to resort to multiple sprays in the bloom period to try to keep this pest in check. Japanese beetle continues to spread. Grape berry moth continues to cause concern as pesticide choices and timings become more site specific.

Tools/Techniques: Growers continue to look at mechanization of leaf removal and pre-pruning strategies to reduce labor costs. Wind machines continue to be installed to protect against winter damage and for frost protection.

Kevin W. Ker, Ph.D.
Research associate/consultant, CCOVI Brock University KCMS Applied Research and Consulting

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