S. Michigan Low Pressure Won’t Quit
The big “L”on the weather map that has been parked over southern Lake Michigan for the past 10 days is delaying this year’s Southern Michigan harvest according to Rocky Rick, President of Gravity Produce and Fruitful Vine Tours. Rick has 28 acres of vineyards on the Southeastern shore of the Lake, 25 of which are vinifera, including Merlot and GewÃ¼rztraminer, and three acres of Traminette. Persistent rain has forced Rick to delay his harvest until next week, which is over two weeks later than normal.
Rick said that he’s mainly pleased with his crop despite the late season delays. Spring was unusually cool he said, with bud break not occurring until mid-May. The summer was hot and dry with rapid ripening. Veraison was on target during mid August. N0w the concern is letting the water content in the grapes come down before harvesting while avoiding problems related to excess moisture.
Rick said he did more selective leaf pulling this year. The local birds have taken notice as the unsheltered ripe berries remain on the vines longer than anticipated, he said.