A long, hot summer paid off for Interior wineries as predicted, with one company well into the wine making process.
Privato Vineyard and Winery co-owner Debbie Woodward said grapes for her chardonnay have been destemmed and pressed. Her reds are well into fermentation, but more than a week from pressing.
Normally, the first grapes are picked during Thanksgiving weekend, so the industry is weeks ahead of schedule, she said.
"Pretty much everybody is all done," she said, adding Privato's grapes come from the Okanagan.
Grapes are harvested as the first frost sets in whether sugar levels are where they need to be or not, said Woodward.
"Everything was fine where we did pick," she said.
The hot weather did come with hazards for wine makers - wasps. Woodward said many grapes were damaged because of the unusually abundant wasp population.
A week of wet weather early in the fall also caused some problems.
"You can't pick when it rains. It makes your grapes watery," Woodward said, adding that hurts the quality.
The hot and dry weather is responsible for the early harvest. The sun's UV rays increase sugar levels, which creates a better tasting grape and, ultimately, wine.
The Daily News reported last month that this season could eclipse 1998 as the year with the greatest number of days where temperatures remain above 10 C, but below 30 C, a range known as a heat-degree day, which is perfect for grape growing.