While talking with our winemaker Robin Partch we got to discussing our 2011 harvest and how much better it will be than 2010. If you remember last spring at all, you’ll know that April was gorgeous, much the opposite of this year really.
April of 2010 was beautiful, warm and everything started budding early and looked promising, but our grape-growers were worried. And for good reason, we live in Minnesota and mother nature is pretty unpredictable here. Mother’s Day weekend 2010 we had a killing frost that wiped out much of our harvest for the year. We were able to rely on some of the secondary buds on the vines, but these are never as ripe or as plentiful as primary buds.
2011 is adding up to be a pretty darn good grape year for us. For example, Robin has a 1 acre vineyard near Stillwater, Minnesota. He grows Edelweiss, Frontenac, Prairie Star and Louise Swenson grapes. Last year he only harvested 600 pounds of grapes, equaling an 80% crop failure due to the frost in May. However, this year already he is predicting to harvest 10 times as much! He is estimating a minimum of a 6,000 pound grape harvest in his vineyard in 2011. What a difference a year makes!