The New York Wine & Grape Foundation says the 2007 GRAPE CROP looks big and good at this time, though the most crucial period occurs in the next two months during the harvest and crush. New York Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is estimating 180,000 tons of grapes this year, a 16% increase over 2006, with crop size about average in western New York (Chautauqua/Erie) and larger in the Finger Lakes and Long Island regions. With a few localized exceptions (mostly hail), the weather has been virtually ideal all year, and if that continues through harvest the quality should be excellent. Nationally, the grape crop is up 9% to nearly 7 million tons, with our friends in California accounting for 88% of that (6.18 million), Washington 6% (381,000—or more than double New York’s crop), New York 3%, and the other 47 states a total of 3%. Grapes are America’s highest value fruit crop, and the sixth highest overall, and that doesn’t even include the incredible value-added components.

Many growers in the Hudson Valley will be harvesting early this year. Usually harvest begins the second or third week in September. This year some growers will be harvesting Seyval this week.

It’s an exciting time in wine country…take a ride during the week or weekend and visit.