No woes for MO wine when weather is hot and dry

8:58 PM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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By Ashley Yarchin

Augusta, Mo. (KSDK) - From soybeans to corn stalks, so much of this year's produce has been pelted with high heat and low moisture. It's hit a sour note for some but not for all.

Sometimes those of us who live in the city forget about some of the best places across country to stretch our legs. But as the mercury has risen, so has our interest in what may become of one of Missouri's most prized crops.

"We have 42 acres total of [so many] varieties," said Paul Hopen, who is vineyard manager for wineries in Augusta and Montelle.

He explained that when we're sweltering, things on the vine couldn't be sweeter.

"Seems like it's gonna be an exceptional year for quality," Hopen went on to say.

Without rain, he said he has a better handle on Mother Nature. Meaning, the drip irrigation is on, and he can control how much water gets to the grapes. Also, they need the sun, and we've gotten it. But beware, there were once fears that this year's product wouldn't be perfect.

"The exceptionally fast start to spring, we were concerned, we lost a few acres of grapes to the frost," Hopen recalled.

But now the glass is half full.

"We're liking what we see on the crops and the vines are looking wonderful," the 30-year veteran of those farms said.

Now, I bet all this talk has you wondering when those good-looking grapes turn into vino. For some of the varieties out there, just six months from now.


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