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And so it begins … grape harvest in Niagara is underway

The 2019 grape harvest is underway in Niagara, with Henry of Pelham declaring an “above average crop size with exceptional quality potential.

At Niagara’s Short Hills Bench, the first ripened wine grapes of the harvest were hand picked from vines at Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. With this harvest, the family-owned winery is celebrating its 31st vintage.

“A cooler spring followed by a long, warm summer with light rainfall has set us up for a spectacular vintage,” said Matthew Speck, senior vice president of operations for Henry of Pelham. “We are starting a few days later than usual, which is providing cooler night time temperatures, keeping the sparkling grapes particularly fresh and crisp.”

Following a cooler spring and delayed bud break, harvest for the 2019 vintage is 10 days behind last year on average. Harvest at Henry of Pelham began Monday morning with Baco Noir (top photo). Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will be picked next for Cuvée Catharine — Henry of Pelham’s premium sparkling wines. Harvest for all the wines will continue through October and into November, when late maturing varietals Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are ready to be picked.
“After an exhilarating 2018 vintage where harvest started fast and never let up, I’m excited to see what 2019 holds for us,” said winemaker Lawrence. “Similar to the 2017 vintage, sparkling and aromatic varieties, along with Baco Noir and Merlot are expected to show well, along with an optimistic outlook for late maturing varieties. On top of the even and consistent growing conditions, an abundant crop will keep the vineyard, winemaking, and cellar teams busy.”

Wines from Henry of Pelham’s 2019 vintage will be available in market for spring 2020 led by rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.

— Source, Henry of Pelham