Hot, dry weather good for area vineyards, local wine production - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hot, dry weather good for area vineyards, local wine production

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While dry, hot weather this week is having a negative impact on some crops in Iowa, not all growers and farmers are seeing the same impact.

There are clusters upon clusters of juicy, plump grapes at Barrel Head Vineyard & Winery in Dubuque -- all thanks to the dry, hot weather.

"For us its been absolutely wonderful. With all the big storms around the country we were a little bit worried that we'd get the residual rain and bad weather and high winds," said John Burns, owner of Barrel Head Vineyard & Winery.

Unlike some other crops, this temperature is the perfect condition for grapes that will be turned into dry red wine.

"The warm weather, helps us bring up the sugars...If we get a lot of rain, the grapes, that plant will suck up that moisture, go into the grape and split, so this year, we had none of those problems," he said.

This year, some of the concord grapes harvested much earlier than usual.  "The hot weather made them come in like a couple, three weeks earlier than we thought they would be. It kind of put us in a bind for tank room cause usually we can clear out tanks from the other red wines...well the concord came so fast it caught  us a little flatfooted,  now we're after tank space."

As for the hybrid grapes, they take a little longer, so growers hope the hot weather will hold up.

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