Winemakers Toast Lack of Rain

By Stephanie Parkinson

August 16, 2012 Updated Oct 25, 2013 at 6:51 AM EST

Fremont, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Farmers are struggling after a lack of rain this year but for those making wine they've been toasting to the unseasonable dry summer.

"For the best winemaking you have to have the best grapes and this drought of 2012 has really been good for us,” said Shane Christ, winemaker, Satek Winery.

Shane says the warmer spring helped to pollinate earlier and then the drought helped ripen the grapes faster. All of this translates into better wine but not an increase in production.

"We want the best grapes we can get, not necessarily the most grapes we can get so we're looking for concentrated flavors, very good fruit chemistry and that will equate hopefully to very very good wines,” said Christ.

While things are looking good now everything could change if they get too much rain before they harvest.

"Kind of imagine it as the grape vine taking a big drink of water, then kind of exhaling or diluting the grapes I guess with that water, that rainfall, so we're not out of the woods yet,” said Christ.

Shane is hoping for dry weather when they do harvest in about 2 weeks.

"We're looking forward to winning some awards and putting Indiana, specifically northern Indiana, and the northeast corner of Indiana and Steuben County on the map as a really nice, great place to make good wine,” said Christ.

Shane says until they harvest it is hard to tell if the grapes will stay on the track they’ve been on so far this summer.




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