Local wineries weigh in on this year’s grape crop

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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ALEXANDRIA BAY, New York (WWNY) - In 2020, dry conditions led to a grape harvest that was expected to be one of the best in years. But, with record rainfall in 2021, how did this year’s crop fare? We spoke with some local winery owners to find out.

This late into October, you won’t find many grapes on the vine. The majority have already been picked as wine workers begin to process them into wine for next year.

At Thousand Islands Winery, owner Steve Conaway hopes it will be a repeat of the 2020 crop.

“I wouldn’t say it was outstanding, but I would definitely say last year - it was an above average harvest,” he said.

In 2020, dry conditions led the grapes at TI Winery to be the juiciest they have been in years. The acidity and sugar levels came out just right, helping to drive up sales in 2021

“We’re starting to see that we are now trending again with the 2019 levels that we had seen before the whole COVID pandemic hit us,” said Conaway.

However, this summer was a totally different story. The north country saw record amounts of rain. How the grapes do? Actually better than you’d expect

“The natural sugar levels and the ph we talk about a lot in the grapes, everything lined up really well this year so my wine maker has never been happier,” said Tony Randazzo, co-owner, Coyote Moon Vineyards.

He credits that to the money they have put into the drainage system, moving excess water and moisture away from the crop.

With barrels of grapes now in hand, Randazzo has a great feeling about the wine and the business in 2022.

“People have kind of learned and rediscovered the north country with these staycations, kind of staying close to home, not getting on planes. I think we are going to continue to play on that and it’s going to grow,” he said.

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