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Growing Grapes: Good Year?

Posted on: 8:17 pm, August 21, 2012, by , updated on: 11:38pm, August 21, 2012

SCOTT TOWNSHIP, MEHOOPANY — At the Nimble Hill Vineyard in Wyoming County, grapes are growing on the vine and thanks to a year without too much rain, those grapes are doing very well.

“This could be our best vintage to date,” said vineyard owner Gary Toczko.

Winemakers throughout the country say the drought has made for smaller, but more flavorful grapes, meaning better wine.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, things have been drier than usual, but no drought.

Sal Maiolatesi gets the grapes for his Lackawanna County winery from other parts of the state and New York, too.

“The weather pattern for the vineyards that I talked to today, they’re pretty excited about the fruit. They said because the rains haven’t been to the point that it’s causing disease or causing overgrowth that the fruit quality is much higher than it has been,” he said.

Local winemakers said now they just wait and hope the heavy rains do not come. Last year, heavy rains nearly destroyed the crops.

“We had vineyards that lost some of them 50 percent of their crop in just a few days just because of those torrential rains that we got,” said Maiolatesi.

“We lost probably 90 to 95 percent of our crops, all splitting and rotting and there was nothing you could do, just sit there and watch,” said Todczko.

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