For the past three days it has hit 90 degree temperatures here on the North Fork. On Sunday a freak thunderstorm darkened the sky and dumped inches of rain. On Monday the heat was back on and continuing today.
The heat is good for the vines, says Donna Rudolph, assistant vineyard manager for Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue. But it is making her life a little busier. “Just look outside at your lawn,” she said by phone, “and you’re seeing how many times you have to mow it.”
The rain and the heat have caused a growth spurt forcing vineyard workers to raise restraining wires earlier than usual. But Donna thinks it’s too early in the year for the weather to affect the vintage. They’re sticking to their regular schedule of spraying Stylet-oil once a week; Bedell uses the organic version. The oil works as a fungicide, inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew, a signifigant problem here on humid Long Island.