Local vineyards benefit from drought

Weekend rain could impact local grapes.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 11:54 PM EDT
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MT. CRAWFORD, Va. (WHSV) - Local vineyards say they’ve benefitted from the recent lack of rain.

The area has been in a drought for months, and it continues to worsen as the weeks progress. The severe drought affects many across Virginia and West Virginia, especially farmers, who rely on rain for each of their crops.

Meanwhile, local vineyards find the dry weather helpful.

”The grapes have been stressed and it forces the roots to grow deeper,” said Aaron McDermott, co-owner and manager at Marceline Vineyards in Mount Crawford. “We see great flavors. plump grapes. It’s going to be a great year for grapes this year, as long as we can avoid a lot of rain.”

With storms forecasted this weekend, McDermott remains cautious, as too much rain can pose a challenge.

”The biggest thing we’re going to fight is mildew and rot,” said McDermott, “If it’s only an inch or two, it should be okay because as dry as we’ve been, a little water isn’t going to hurt us.”

McDermott may be one of the few people in the area that are pleased with the recent dry summer. According to the vineyard manager, less moisture means more flavorful wine.