Those in charge of wineries in the North Georgia Mountains say this summer’s rainy weather is making grape growing more challenging. Steve Gibson is General Manager of Habersham Winery near Helen. He says Georgia grape growers are generally used to the rain, but this is the wettest summer he can remember.
“The the main effect it’s had on us is that we are having to do a more extensive and intensive spray program in our vineyards to keep mildews and molds down, any rots down, in the vineyards.”
And because the winery is having to spray more frequently, Gibson says maintenance costs are up between 25 to 35 percent more than an average year. But he says so far Habersham has been fortunate.
“At least in our case we have controlled any major problems.”
However, Gibson says the next 30 days are critical.
“I think if we can get some dry weather between now and harvest time it could be a good crop. We obviously got affected very negatively last year with the late April freeze that diminished the crop for a lot of wineries here in North Georgia, so it would kind of be devastating to have back-to-back bad years in terms of weather.”
Gibson says he’s remaining optimistic.