Will your favorite wine varietal be off the menu next year?

Posted at 6:42 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 18:42:06-04

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — Wine growers in Western New York are nearing peak harvest season.

“Usually the peak of the season is right at Halloween,” Bella Rose Vineyard and Winery owner Michael Schweitzer said.

And the hot and dry summer weather has brought in a surplus of grapes for wine growers.

“Which on any other year would be great, but its unfortunate because it sounds like a lot of these grapes aren’t gonna get taken," Schweitzer said.

He said that's because small local wineries can’t afford to buy and process them. For more than three months, wineries in Western New York were closed, meaning many of our local wineries made no revenue.

“We missed significant holidays like the Fourth of July or Mother's Day is a really big one for us." Schweitzer said. "And right now, it is still very very much slower than it should be for this time of year.”

Schweitzer said a lot of wineries turned to store distribution to stay afloat during the pandemic, but many smaller wineries did not have the production or distribution capabilities to do so."

“It costs a lot of money,” Schweitzer said.

So this harvest season, many of those grapes will be left on the vine.

For right now, Schweitzer believes wine growers will be okay because wine making is a long game. But, he is concerned for the future.

“In 6 months, a year, two years from now, when this harvest is suppose to hit the bottle and in your glass, we’re not gonna have that,” he said.

So he says don’t be surprised if in the future some of your favorite wine varietals don’t make it onto the menu.

“I have friends who have 30 different varietals," Schweitzer said. "That’s gonna be difficult to do this year.”