Lasting fall sunshine and a record dry spell is making for a possible banner year for Oregon wineries as many local winemakers get ready to harvest grapes this week.
An Elmira-based winery, LaVelle Vineyards says that the weather is making for what could be its best harvest in nearly twenty years.
"You couldn't ask for anything better than this as a grape vine farmer, as a winemaker. This is just amazing for us,” says Matthew LaVelle, a co-owner of LaVelle Vineyards.
LaVelle is in charge of winemaking at the vineyard, which his parents started about eighteen years ago. The family says unlike the last two years the fruit this year has come through incredibly strong, thanks to the near record dry weather.
With virtually no rain in the last three months, LaVelle Vineyards has almost no weather-related grape losses. That has allowed winemakers to keep the fruit on the vine longer, which lets the sugar content peak to high levels. Virtually all of the sugar content in grapes onsets toward the last few weeks before picking.