Wis. Winners: Packers, Brewers, Grapes
A good year for Wisconsin sports has coincided with a great year for growing grapes, according to Becky Rochester, Grape Marketing Coordinator for the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association. Becky said 2011 was a “banner year” for Wisconsin vineyards. “Many of our vineyards harvested 25% more than we estimated they would,” she said.
Wisconsin escaped the severe frost that occurred in Minnesota during mid-September. Disease pressure was also low during a dry, warm summer, Rochester added. Even the Asian Beetles that had been a nuisance in 2010 declined in 2011. Japanese beetles were manageable, she said.
Some Frontenac is still on the vine, but all other grapes with the exception ice wine grapes have been harvested. Rochester, who has worked for wineries in California, New Zealand, Australia and Oregon, said there are now over 7o wineries in Wisconsin and approximately 80 varieties of grapes grown, almost all hybrids.