Illinois Wines Will Survive Midwest Fruit Drought


The predictions of disaster for midwest fruit crops from the heat and drought of 2012 were not alarmist— on a recent camping trip in northern Michigan we were told that bears and humans were seeing a lot more of each other as hungry bears search for something to eat beyond the sparse blueberry harvest this year. But one that will weather it better than most, the Sun-Times reports, is Illinois’ wine industry, as grape yields have remained relatively high. The difference is that grapes are perennials with deep root systems, so they can survive and produce in tough years. Still, it’s not going to be a big year in terms of yield and perhaps quality, according to Dick Faltz of Fox River Winery in Oswego:

Fox Valley Winery uses four different vineyards there, and already has “rejected the fruit” from two of them, Faltz said. “It really is an ecological disaster,” he said.