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Crop Update 2008 by Tom Mitchell, Pa’tridge Run Farms and Fall Bright, Finger Lakes Wine Region, overlooking Keuka Lake east, near Wayne, 10110 Hyatt Hill, Dundee, NY 14837    607-292-3995

presented at the AWS Home Winemaking Seminar, Rochester, NY
August 9, 2008

Ø 2008 Growing season got off to an early dry start 

Ø We started seeing some consistent precipitation about mid-June 

Ø As the summer progressed we saw more than adequate rainfall which meant more disease pressure 

Ø Hail hit some Lake Erie and Finger Lakes vineyards July 16 & 17 causing significant damage in some vineyards. 

ØIn the last 17 days of July there was measurable rainfall on 10 days at Geneva

Ø The last half of July saw 3.5” of rainfall 


Growing conditions have been good for the growth of not only plants but for fungal and insect pests as well. 

In spite of pest pressure it appears that most vineyards have faired pretty well with abundant if not excessive growth in some instances.


There is a large crop in most varieties.

As of Aug-3 accumulated GDD (growing degree days) at the Geneva Exp Station were 1594 - compared to the long term average (1974 – 2007) of 1488 – over a hundred GDD ahead of the LTA (long term average).


To bring it in perspective with the last few years

Ø 8/3 2005 1664 

Ø 8/3 2006 1560 

Ø 8/3 2007 1586 


Date in which we reached 1594 GGD

Ø 2005 8/1 

Ø 2006 8/2 

Ø 2007 8/4 

Ø Long Term AVG 8/8 We are approx 5 days ahead of the LTA 


Most varieties do have large crops but growing conditions have been less stressful than the previous 3 years for the vines – translating to: The larger vine canopies are up to the task of ripening the larger crop.

As always I will caution that for us the beginning of harvest is 5 to 6 weeks off and a lot can happen in the 12 weeks before the last grapes are in.  

We would like to put our order in for pleasantly warm, fair weather through the end of harvest. We can always dream, can't we?


May Your Wines Fall Bright!