Cool Spring Seals Deal in Ohio
2011 vintages in most parts of Ohio did not have the ideal conditions that prevailed in 2010 according to David Scurlock, Viticulture Outreach Specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at Ohio State University. A cool, wet spring produced problems with phomopsis, then a hot summer put pressure on vineyards, he said. On the positive side, there was no late frost in Ohio this year.
“Sometimes wine is made in the vineyard, but 2011 will be a year for winemakers to work their magic,” Scurlock said. Record wet and cool conditions were especially pronounced in the Northeast part of Ohio along Lake Erie, he said.
A hot mid summer caused some vines to shut down so acid levels did not drop to ideal levels, he said. Furthermore, sugar content is not generally as high as last year. For example, Riesling vines that can produce 20 degrees brix in optimal conditions, were closer to 17 or 18 degrees this year, Scurlock noted.
Scurlock theorizes that during dry summers more birds leave the forest looking for food. Therefore bird damage in many parts of Ohio was higher than normal this past summer. Once birds establish a feeding pattern their ferocity for feeding is hard to fend against, event using bird netting, Scurlock cautioned. However, pest damage was manageable with a few lady beetles in Northern sections.
Funding for Extension and Research is provided by OGIC, the Ohio Grape Industry Committee.