The first question everyone asks at this time of year is this: How is the grape crop looking? Vines in all of our four vineyards have heavy fruit loads. In fact, I don’t remember a harvest that was looking this good by July 15. Keep in mind that we did not have any late frosts, and flowering took place in calm weather with little or no rain, hail, or heavy winds. We’ve gotten off to a great start.

We are just starting to see veraison. That is when the blue or purple grapes start changing color from a milky green to purple and the white grapes change from milky green to a translucent yellow-green color. This process takes a week or so and our temperatures and weather conditions are perfect right now.

Part of our good luck this year has a lot to do with the kind of weather we’ve had here in Southeast Iowa so far in 2021. We have gotten just the right amount of rain but not too much. Travel 25 miles north and they are dry. Go 25 miles south and they have had too much rain and fields are soggy.

This week, we are getting a lot of routine vineyard maintenance done. All of our vineyards will be mowed. We are tying up vines that have come down, and we are getting some fungicide applied.