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Heat and humidity causing Connecticut wine grapes to ripen faster

Business is booming given the circumstances of the pandemic and with so much land social distancing is not a problem.

WATERTOWN, Conn. — The 14th stop on the Connecticut wine trail, Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown sits on just about 60 acres of land and serves over 30 different types of wine including a frozen wine of the month.  

Business is booming given the circumstances of the pandemic and with so much land social distancing is not a problem. With the dry conditions and higher heat, it doesn’t seem to deter folks from coming out either.  

In fact, this type of weather is good for business, the grape crops that will be harvested come next month are thriving in this heat. This type of weather promotes quicker ripening which will allow for more grapes to be harvested. 

Assistant Manager Jeff Mchugh explained, “when it’s hot the grapes do ripen quicker so we can harvest earlier and extends the growing season very similar to what happens in California every year so it is great.” 

Some of the grapes at the winery are already beginning to ripen ahead of schedule.

"The Frontenac are starting to ripen so yes definitely ahead of schedule,”  said General Manager Autumn Elmazi. "Come September what we’re going to have is just more grapes to harvest.”  

With drought conditions also a concern, Mchugh says the grapevines being harvest have deeper roots which play a factor in helping survival.

“Deeper roots are better in a drought that makes the plant more resistant. So when we do plant grapevines it takes three years for those grapes to mature so you can’t harvest the grapes or use the grapes before that three years time period” said Mchugh.  

In September, there will be lots of grapes to harvest and the folks at Hawk Ridge Winery will be looking for patrons to help! For more information head to their website by clicking here