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Heat Boosting, Sweetening Local Crops of Wine Grapes

The grape crop is booming in the heat, making them a little sweeter before being turned into wine.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - While many farmers are struggling to keep crops alive in the hot and dry weather, other crops are booming. Perry Welch, grape grower and owner of Old Millington Winery, says a little more rain would be helpful, but the heat helps to sweeten up grapes before they are made into wine.

The Old Millington Winery makes wine and sells primarily to local customers, but has shipped wine across the world. New vines are producing new fruit despite the hot and dry weather which will be fermented for next year. The grapes are doing so well that they are ready to pick about a month early.

Welch says, “If they can hang a little longer, the sugar will build in them.”

Temperatures in the 90’s are a key ingredient to make grapes sweet, but Welch says they could use cool nights as well to round off the taste. Just like any crop, the weather plays a huge role in the outcome.

Welch says Mid-South grape growers help each other out when the crop comes up short. That does not look to be a worry this year. Welch, like the name suggests, says he can’t imagine growing anything other than grapes and he loves interacting with local people.

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