Oct 30 , 2022
Harvest comes and goes so quickly every year, that sometimes it is hard to reflect on everything that happened at the winery because it can all feel like a blur. We have mentioned before how special this time of year is in Prince Edward County, not only for our own team, but also the entire community. It feels like everyone is in the same boat, a mad dash to a finish line that doesn’t quite exist and supporting each other along the way. Harvest is when we get to see all of our hard work from spring through fall come to fruition, but also where a lot of the work just begins. So, what exactly happened during Traynor’s harvest of 2022?
This year was a lighter year in terms of what came off the vines from last year. For context, we made about 80,000L of wine, and this year we have enough grapes to make about 45,000L — almost half the production. Part of that is due to the fields and things that are out of our control, and some of that is also making the work for the team more manageable. Overall, it was a really tough growing season for Ontario growers. The rough winter killed many of the buds, so that already had the season off to a more challenging start. We then faced a dry summer and draught, and although we didn’t experience it at Traynor, many wineries in both Prince Edward County and Niagara had many bug issues. That’s the nature of the business and something you have to be prepared for every year.
Mike believes there is a rebound in the plants, which is why quite often in the County vineyards will cull parts of their harvest. Sometimes, like in the case of last year, where the harvest was plentiful, it strains the vines if you’re harvesting every single grape. The buds are then impacted the following year and lack energy to produce the same volume again. It is a fine balancing act throughout the seasons — you want as many grapes as possible, so you can make as much wine as possible BUT you also need to be thinking about the next year, five years and ten years ahead simultaneously, and not straining the plants so that they have enough energy to thrive the next year.
So, all that to say it was a combination of factors that produced a much lower yield this year across the board. With that comes some positives, including the quality of the fruit, which the team is loving this year. Since there were less grapes on the vines, they really had more time to concentrate on the vine, and in turn the sugar and acids are in a good place. We will be able to develop some great flavours in the wine once fermented.
What can you expect from the wines being made at Traynor? To start, harvest is about a 60/40 split between Niagara and Prince Edward County, so guests can sip both when visiting or ordering online and really see what makes both wine regions special, as well as distinctly unique. Working with Niagara growers has been instrumental to Traynor’s ability to grow and experiment in the cellar, especially during these types of harvests when the yield is lower across both regions.