(AP) — Wet and cool weather that delayed last year's grape harvest has left winemakers wondering longer than usual about the quality of the vintage.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that some wineries are weeks behind in the blending and fermentation processes, while others are working with fewer grapes because the weather hurt yields. And it could still be Groundhog Day or Valentine's Day before winemakers know if they've had a good year, said Chuck Dressel, owner of Mount Pleasant Winery in the eastern Missouri town of Augusta. "We're waiting with bated breath," he said.
Winemakers said 2009 separated the inexperienced growers from newcomers who don't understand the technology.
"It was cool and wet, and they had to monitor the vineyards very carefully. They had to spray a lot," said Jim Anderson, executive director of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. "The better growers did a really great job. You had to be a good farmer to keep an eye on everything."