Hot Weather Good for Winemakers in the Valley

By: Karen Campbell Email
By: Karen Campbell Email

The hot weather in the Valley may be miserable to some, but for winemakers, it's not so bad.

Stephan Heyns, a winemaker at Cross Keys Vineyard in Mount Crawford, says all of this muggy hot weather is actually a positive sign.

"Usually if you can have a good balance between rain and nice dry weather, it's usually beneficial for the vines," says Heyns.

Still, for some winemakers, too much heat can be a bad thing.

"Excess heat can slow things down with chute forming, ripening and maybe for later, end of the season," says Heyns.

He says small periods of warm weather won't affect the vines.

"If you stay close to harvest and you have a very big dry spell, you actually start to lose leaves because of the dryness of the heat then you might have some problems," explains Heyns.

Heyns says, the more leaves you can have, the better chances you have to ripen your clusters and your berries.

A lack of rain could also pose potential problems for winemakers who may not have an irrigation system, or a common type of soil that can retain water.

"If we stay without water for another two weeks, three weeks I won't be concerned at all. If you look at the vines, there's more than enough water in the soil," adds Heyns.

He says, despite having to be out in the vineyard every day in the heat, he understands the importance of his job.

He also says all of this sunlight helps to keep the vines nice and healthy.


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