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Grape Harvest

Workers at Elkton's Brandborg Winery sort a load of grapes during this year's harvest.

ELKTON — With unusual storms hitting the South Coast earlier this year, agriculture was hit hard. However, Elkton's wineries are in good spirits and confident of producing a good wine this year.

Terry Brandborg, co-owner of Brandborg Vineyard and Winery, said the year presented a number of challenges. Between temperate winter conditions, a late frost, and harsh winter storms, their early grape buds didn't do well. He recalled they had vines starting to bud when a late frost came through the area.

While the harvest hasn't been as big as they would like, Brandborg said what they have shows promise. He said the sugar levels developed nicely and what he's tasted has been good.  He said he expects it to be "quite a lovely wine."

"It's been a vintage with challenges," he said. "What came in looks good but it was reduced. Hopefully what we make will be good, but there will be less of it … It's good in quality, less in quantity."

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The vineyard's harvest window was also impacted. Brandborg said they normally have about a month of harvest, but this year's was only a few weeks with the last grapes of the season harvested on Oct. 12.

Brandborg said the weather issues seemed to be isolated to the South Coast area. He recalled getting grapes in from growers based outside the area who experienced different weather conditions and had larger harvests.

As this year's winter weather kicks in, the wineries hope there isn't a repeat of similar conditions.

"It was all weather related," said Brandborg of the harvest issues. "It was a challenging year for farmers all around."

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Reporter Adam Robertson can be reached at 541-297-3590, or by email at adam.robertson@theworldlink.com.

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