Vineyards near Fairport stand up to challenging weather year

September 2, 2012 by  

While final crop tallies for the 2012 season are not yet in, it appears that the grape harvests in the Fairport area are going to be better than anticipated. This is good news for local residents and businesses.

Mark Patterson, a winemaker at Casa Larga Vineyards in nearby Perinton, commented just over a week ago that crops there are looking promising. Patterson attributed the vineyard’s positive news to its Turk Hill location, just a few miles from Fairport’s village center, and the age of the grape producing vines. Both these factors have helped counter the effects of an early season freeze.

Talking about the freeze, Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation in Canandaigua, explained that growers worried at the time that their entire crop might be lost or significantly reduced. He said:

“The cold hit hard, for two or three nights in a row. We were surprised and delighted when for some reason most of the vines came through.”

That sharp temperature drop was followed by a record two months of exceptionally dry weather from May 17 to July 17, which also caused alarm among growers. Several vineyards were about to write-off the entire season by the end of July only to be surprised by rains and cooler nights in early August.

By the time all the vines are harvested, the region’s grape yields, though off by 5–10% over prior years, will be quite robust. For the local wine industry, as well as affiliate businesses such as Fairport printing companies that produce the bottle labels and restaurants that feature Finger Lakes’ wines on their menus, this is a terrific conclusion to a growing season that has had some cliff-hanger moments.