Now that everyone in Twenty Valley is well into harvest, here at Vineland Estates we feel it is safe to say that the quality for 2015 is looking unprecedented. We must admit that the good fall weather has only served to improve what is hanging in our vineyards and we pray that the fair winds and sunshine will stay for a long time. A bad turn in the weather could spell a bad turn of fortune for us, but again, we are farmers and we must be optimistic by nature. The good weather will hold.
Roman, our vineyard manager just said to me, “the quality we are seeing is exceptional, I just wish the quantity was double!” All of us here could not agree more. As I have written in other posts, the back to back brutally cold winters in Niagara took a third of our vines AND did some major damage to the fruiting buds that remained. The 2015 crop is very light. To give you approximate numbers: in 2013 the overall grape crop in Ontario was roughly 83,000 tons. After the hard winter of 2014 the harvest dropped to about 53,000 tons. After a follow up arctic winter in 2015 we are now expecting (guessing) that this years harvest will yield only about 40,000 tons – half of the crop in 2013 in just two years. That is a hard pill to swallow, but what are you going to do?
Still, the good news is that the diminished crop that has been left is getting all of the normal ripening energy that the vines put out over a growing season. The result? Again, we have far fewer grapes but at a quality level that we have rarely seen. 2015 (as long as the weather continues to be reasonable) will yield GREAT wines but not much of them. Do be excited about these wines to come…but in the meantime, speaking for Vineland Estates…our released Reserves from 2012 are some of the best we’ve made and the focused fruit of the 2014’s that are on our shelves now are receiving rave reviews. On a personal note, my cellar at home is swelling with all of these memorable wines…each with their own interesting story to tell. I love to “listen”.
Contributed by David Hulley
Director of Customer Experience
Vineland Estate Winery