You may be sweltering in this recent heat pattern we're experiencing, but imagine being stuck in a wide open field taking on the direct sunlight all day. That's the life of a grape vine and vineyards are keeping a close eye on them. YNN's Katie Husband takes us to where the wine making process begins and tells us how the heat is affecting the crop.
HECTOR, N.Y. -- From the bare vines and frozen grapes of January to the tall, leafy green look in the summer. The vine is a tough plant.
"Oh, the vines are very durable. The one problem that we do have is low winter temperatures," said John Santos, vineyard manager at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards.
But it's not low winter temperatures right now, it's high 80s to low 90s that have owners at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards talking about the summer season.
"Definitely advances the season. We should see earlier onset of coloring in the fruit. We should see an earlier harvest with warm temperatures, earlier maturity of the fruit," said Santos.
The hot and dry conditions we've been experiencing aren't the problem for these vines, it actually triggers a signal.
"The vines will shut down, they'll close their stomata so that they don't lose all the moisture that they've got so that they're not respiring," said Santos.
But it's not good for the dry conditions to last for too long.
"Allow the vines to photosynthesize to create the sugars in the fruit. So that would be the one concern if the dry continues, just kept going all the way through August and we got to September and we weren't getting any rain," said Santos.
Growers do say there is a perfect recipe for the wine making grape.
"Until we get to mid-August, it would be nice if we didn't get a whole lot of rain. After mid-August, it would be nice if we got a half an inch to an inch on a weekly basis," said Santos.
No matter what Mother Nature brings, those hearty vines will hold up. It's just a matter of whether the fruit will remain tender.
Growers say if the Finger Lakes region experiences too much rain for the liking after the fruit shows color, it could lead to mildews, mold and fruit degradation.