Michigan Winemakers Reporting Bountiful 2011 Harvest

There’s good news for fans of Michigan wines: Thanks to favorable weather and other factors, vintners are reporting a massive harvest of grapes this fall and high quality flavors of fermenting wines to start the 2011 vintage.

From The Detroit News:

From Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas up north to Berrien and Allegan counties in the southwest, many of the reds are still hanging on the vines, but winemakers expect to complete the picking by Friday.

They all credit the 10-day stint of heat in early October with the size and ripeness of the vintage — plus the month was frost-free. Cellars are bulging with fermenting wines, and many vintners are leaving rows of Riesling unpicked for ice wine.

That ought to translate to an abundant supply of good Rieslings, Pinot Grigios, Cabernet Francs, sparkling wines and other varietals grown and made in Michigan, and at reasonable prices.

It’s also welcome news after two years when reduced yields forced some wineries to buy grapes from other states to meet rising demand for Michigan wines.

From Michigan By The Bottle:

“Our diligence in the vineyard and cooperation with Mother Nature was rewarded with a 60 percent increase in yields,” said (Dannielle) Alphonse (of Old Shore Vineyards), while 2 Lads Winery owner Chris Baldyga said, “Compared to 2010, we’ve got a lot more fruit on the vine.

“It has been a very kind year thus far,” he added. “Disease and pest pressure has been low, plants have been very healthy, and when you’re coming off a great growing season with very little fruit on the vines like last year, the plants are basically set up to perform very well this year.”

So get out there and support your local wine industry.

What are your favorite Michigan wineries or wine varietals? Does the news of a bumper crop harvest make you more likely to try Michigan wine?

Photo by farlane


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