Crow Vineyard & Winery winemaker Catrina North offers this assessment of the 2016 harvest on the eastern shore of Maryland:
“2016 has proven to be a bit challenging for us here on the eastern shore of Maryland. We seem to be having a very different experience from that of our western and central Maryland compatriots.
We experienced a very cool and extremely rainy spring and summer with relentless humidity, so staying ahead in the vineyard was top priority and very challenging. We met the challenge as best we could. Everything in the vineyard seemed a bit late — flowering, veraison, ripening, etc– but the sunny, hot and rain-less month of August helped things catch up.
We are getting toward the end of harvest now. We just processed cabernet sauvignon. Our whites, rosés and early reds are all fermenting happily.
Overall, grape quality has been good — acid levels are average, sugars below average, and flavor at or above average. We worked with a grower partner in Chester County, PA– which is less than 30 miles from Crow Farm– and they are having a very different experience this growing season. As a result, we’ve found it fascinating to see how much growing conditions can vary within a relatively small area.
Harvest 2016 has been a real opportunity for us to leave our comfort zone in the winery. I am most excited this year about cabernet franc and viognier. We are all looking forward to seeing how our efforts (hopefully!) result in delicious wines.”