Warning signs hit Oregon wine industry

Natural Resource News Note:   Two media items highlight the risk facing Oregon’s wineries and vineyards.    The risk is either a great year or a serious set-back according to local wineries.

The Oregonian ran an artcile “Oregon wine-grape growers struggle to salvage a worrisome crop”.  Here is an excerpt:

A cool spring, followed by a summer that saw only sporadic heat spikes, has shoved harvest back anywhere from two weeks to a full month, especially in the northern Willamette Valley. That opens the harvest to potentially drowning rains and botyrtis, a moldy fungus that thrives in damp, humid conditions.

As a result, winemakers are doing everything they can to compensate for nature’s shortcomings – pulling leaves to expose grapes to the sun, pruning large amounts of undersized clusters to focus vine vigor on the remaining fruit and applying organic sprays touted to hasten ripening. If the Indian summer they are praying for doesn’t materialize, however, 2010 could well go down as one of those vintages best left forgotten.

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