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March 14, 2012


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I know the East Coast has it's weather challenges however it is not the only place. In other regions they have frost every year and have to manage it. They also grow grapes that are a challenge to grow like Zinfandel, Grenache, Nebbiolo ect. LI is mostly Chardonnay and Merlot and honestly what regions don't grow a Chardonnay and Merlot. We should all hope we do not get an early bud break because a frost would put a low yield region like this at about a ton an acre.

I know that the water surrounding us will buffer the air temperature. We have a very uniqe place here on Long Island. The sense of place is everything, and to preserve that harmony into wine is key.

This is a complex issue with many variables involved, as stated above early bud break can be a dual edged sword, there's also bound to be more insect pressure this season since we didn't freeze the ground hard or long enough to purge the critters down there, and now depending on the weather disease pressure could be higher than normal too. I think the general consensus is that vineyard managers on the Island will have their work cut out for them this season, as they often do.

Seems that everyone connected to viticulture wants to say, "Yes, but..." when it comes to the possibility of early bud break. How about this? For the next 10 days, it won't get below 50 degrees up here. Daily high will be at least 70 every day, and there's a solid chance we'll see 80+ for at least three days next week. That's not one day of warmth. That's record warmth after five months of record warmth. If we don't see early bud break in 2012, we never will. The question becomes, will it be a record? In 2010, growers thought they were seeing things that would not be repeated in their lifetimes. And here we are. What a world.

Let's say early bud break is virtually guaranteed at this point. That still doesn't make 2012 a record vintage. Many growers have seen bud break at around April 20th, in order for that to carry into a block buster vintage the weather has to play nice all summer and at least provide pockets of harvesting opportunities in the fall. Think of it like a perfect game in baseball, of course it depends on the first game and every game after but even when all the momentum is rolling the right way, no one wants to jinx it.

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