Uncork the Forks: Long Island’s 2015 harvest is looking optimistic

Grapes ripening at Corey Creek VIneyards in Southold. (Credit: Randee Daddona for northforker)

After writing grape harvest reports for more than a decade, I’ve learned a few things. One, every winemaker is hopeful this time of year. Comments like “This will be an outstanding vintage” and “XYZ will be a great year for Long Island wine” abound.

I’ve also learned that it’s not always true. It’s easy to get caught up in the romanticism of wine and wine country, but this is a business — the business of selling wine. That salesmanship begins before the grapes are even picked.

But after the summer we’ve had, you don’t need to talk to local grape growers or winemakers to know that it’s been a beautiful summer. Warm but rarely punishingly hot. Exceedingly sunny with very few rainy days. With experience, I have to ask fewer questions about how a season’s weather will manifest itself on the vine and eventually in the bottle.

Warm is often better than hot. Dry is better than wet, but too dry brings its own problems. We’ll get to that in a bit, though.