Luckett Vineyards owner Pete Luckett said the grapes are abundant and ripening to the correct degree. Although the winery has been open for only a couple years, he said it has been growing grapes for nine years. He currently has 20 acres in production with nine different grape varieties and also buys grapes from other growers and vineyards to top-up the supply.
Different varieties ripen at different times so the harvest will be spread out over about five weeks, providing conditions stay relatively dry.
“We started picking a week and a half ago,” Luckett said Sept. 26. “We’re harvesting today and will be picking away over the next few weeks as they come up to the correct sugar levels.”
Since grape vines are deep rooted, hot, dry conditions over the summer didn’t hamper fruit production. Luckett said grapes do not require the same amount of moisture as other crops and the local climate is well suited to growing grapes without irrigation.
Domaine de Grand Pre’s winemaker Jurg Stutz said there has been rain over the past few weeks, but, before that, conditions for grape growing were fantastic. May and June were warm and dry and gave the grape crop a great head start, he commented.
“We’re definitely looking forward to an excellent vintage,” Stutz said.
About a dozen pickers at Grand Pre had started harvesting Seyval Blanc and L’Acadie Blanc grapes for sparkling wine Sept. 26.
“It’s a little earlier than the average year,” Stutz said, pointing out there is a good yield of grapes with good sugar levels. The winery has about 34 acres of vineyard with nine different varieties, but not all are in full production yet. Grand Pre purchases grapes from contract growers as well, who, Stutz said, had also begun harvesting.
Gaspereau Vineyards’ winemaker Gina Haverstock said it has been a great growing season for grapes and the crop held up well in dry conditions.
Gaspereau grows eight varieties of grapes across 35 acres, in addition to buying from other growers, which Haverstock expects to begin harvesting this week.
Luckily, recent rain hasn’t caused grapes to split, she said.
With Mother Nature’s contribution of warm, sunny weather, Haverstock said the grape crop should produce fantastic wine.
“As always, we’re absolutely looking for a good vintage.”