'We're probably a week behind': Local wine crop plays catch-up

'We're probably a week behind': Local wine crop plays catch-up »Play Video

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - A cool, wet spring means a later than normal bloom for area wineries.

"We're probably a week or two behind," said Saginaw Vineyards owner and winemaker Scott Byler.

But that doesn't have him worried.

"I've done this enough years and enough things go wrong with something and the wine always turns out fine," he said.

The Oregon Wine Board said it's the same story across the state.
The wine crop is about 10 days behind this year because of a cool, wet, spring that has pushed everything back.

This year  the bloom, which usually happens in late June or early July, was late by about a week.

"The later, the less grapes that are ripe to harvest, means less sugars, lower alcohol wines," said Byler.

Last year, frost and mildew wiped out a lot of Byler's grapes, "last year was the toughest year I've seen."

But he's already predicting better things for this crop, and said he isn't concerned about the late bloom.

"In 2007 and 2008, they said it was a horrible year and we made some fantastic wines."

With days like we had Saturday with the sun shining and temperatures in the 80s, it means ideal growing conditions for grapes. It's weather like this that will help the crop catch up just in time for the October harvest.

"For us, the warm days and cool nights just like this for the rest of the summer will be great," said Byler.

From the vineyard to the bottle, he said you just have to let mother nature take it's course.

"I've learned farming for many years, in the end, the grapes will turn out just fine and make some good wine," he said.