PRAIRIE DU SAC (WKOW) – After a season of extreme weather, Wollersheim Winery is able to evaluate their grapes during a harvest that comes a few weeks ahead of schedule. Owner and winemaker Philippe Coquard said overall quantity is down, but the quality is up.
"This season was rather hectic and crazy," Coquard said. What he means by hectic and crazy is an early Spring and April frosts followed by extreme heat and dryness. Back in April, 27 News visited the Prairie Du Sac winery as they fought of freezing temperatures with hot air. The summer months presented even more challenges.
Coquard said, "We were afraid to lose the vines so we brought water to the fields and installed a drip irrigation system." That was a first for the winery that's been running for decades. This week, they're harvesting what they have. Coquard said they lost about 40 percent of the crop due to frost. "We are fortunate to have a crop, to have a beautiful crop, yes it is less but of high quality," he continued.
The grapes are smaller this season but that can be a good thing according to the experts. Coquard said the lack of rain and evaporation of water has led to a concentration in flavor. He said, "It's going to make one of the best wines that we will ever see." For the Wisconsin winery, it's the silver lining in an unpredictable season. "It was a difficult growing season but the bonus us the quality of the wine and it will be outstanding."
PRAIRIE DU SAC (WKOW) -- Wollersheim Winery in Prairie Du Sac began its grape harvest three weeks ahead of schedule on Tuesday. Owner Philippe Coquard says the quantity of grapes is down but the quality is higher than usual.
In March, an early bud break followed by April frosts wiped out about 40 percent of the winery's grapes. The drought followed, leaving the vines parched, but the dry weather may have produced a higher quality of grape according to the winemaker.
27 News reporter Danielle Lama will have more about the grape harvest and the wine making ahead at 10.